do·​min·​ion | \ də-ˈmi-nyən How to pronounce dominion (audio) \

Definition of dominion

1 : domain
2 law : supreme authority : sovereignty having dominion over the natural world
3 dominions plural, Christianity : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy
4 often capitalized, government : a self-governing nation of the Commonwealth of Nations other than the United Kingdom that acknowledges the British monarch as chief of state
5 law : absolute ownership

Choose the Right Synonym for dominion

power, authority, jurisdiction, control, command, sway, dominion mean the right to govern or rule or determine. power implies possession of ability to wield force, authority, or influence. the power to mold public opinion authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits. granted the authority to manage her estate jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits. the bureau having jurisdiction over parks control stresses the power to direct and restrain. you are responsible for the students under your control command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience. the army officer in command sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence. the empire extended its sway over the region dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority. given dominion over all the animals

Did you know?

The ruler of a region has dominion over it, and the area itself may be called the ruler's dominion. In the days of the British Empire, Great Britain had dominion over many countries throughout the world. Though Canada has been quite independent of Great Britain since the 19th century, its formal title remains Dominion of Canada. The word has an old-fashioned sound today, and probably shows up in history books, historical novels, and fantasy video games more often than in discussions of modern nations.

Examples of dominion in a Sentence

The U.S. has dominion over the island. The countries fought for dominion of the territory. the dominions of the empire
Recent Examples on the Web For a few weeks every year, pumpkin spice has almost complete and total dominion over hungry consumers across the US. Leah Asmelash And Scottie Andrew, CNN, 30 Oct. 2021 In fact, the championship itself ever-so-slightly predates the NCAA’s dominion over women’s intercollegiate athletics. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 14 June 2022 This saved Finland from Russian dominion but also delayed full integration with the West. Adam O’neal, WSJ, 12 June 2022 Along with Russia’s naval dominion in the Black Sea, annexation would tighten Moscow’s stranglehold on the Ukrainian economy and solidify its blockade of Ukraine’s southern coast. New York Times, 19 May 2022 When Kyivan Rus had collapsed, most of its lands had been absorbed by Lithuania, but some of its northeastern territories remained under the dominion of a Mongol successor state. Timothy Snyder, The New Yorker, 28 Apr. 2022 The press barons were more than willing to use military force to establish or uphold their country’s dominion over non-White nations. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 Allowing rumination to take agency over your dominion can lead to a negative frame of mind, less proactive behavior, self-sabotage, and hypertension. Alex Wagner, SPIN, 27 Apr. 2022 Could this be the beginning of the end of meat — or at least red meat, with its aura of dominion and glory? New York Times, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dominion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dominion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dominion

Middle English dominioun, from Middle French dominion, modification of Latin dominium, from dominus — see dominical

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Time Traveler for dominion

Time Traveler

The first known use of dominion was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

7 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dominion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for dominion


do·​min·​ion | \ də-ˈmin-yən How to pronounce dominion (audio) \

Kids Definition of dominion

1 : ruling or controlling power : sovereignty … the whole country was my own property, so that I had an undoubted right of dominion.— Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
2 : a territory under the control of a ruler : domain


do·​min·​ion | \ də-ˈmin-yən How to pronounce dominion (audio) \

Legal Definition of dominion

1a : supreme authority : sovereignty
b : a territory over which such authority is exercised
c often capitalized : a self-governing nation (as Canada) of the British Commonwealth other than the United Kingdom that acknowledges the British monarch as the head of state
2 : the power (as authority) or right (as ownership) to use or dispose of property specifically : absolute or exclusive use, control, ownership, or possession of property the transferred property is placed beyond the donor's dominion and control — W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al. the bailee exercised dominion over the vehicle

More from Merriam-Webster on dominion

Nglish: Translation of dominion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dominion for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about dominion


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