dominion

noun
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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Burtynsky’s central point is that mankind’s dominion over Earth is changing landscapes and seascapes with a totality and scale that can be hard to grasp from the ground. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Edward Burtynsky photos at Cleveland Museum of Art document mankind’s troubled relationship with water," 23 June 2019 But where is the morality in a system where the economic gains are so narrowly shared, and giant companies with substantial market power—the heirs to the trusts—exercise dominion over great swaths of the economy? John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Why Socialism Is Back," 18 June 2019 One reason for its intensity may be found in the nature of Henry’s dominion. Allan Massie, WSJ, "‘The Restless Kings’ Review: A Family at War With Itself," 11 Jan. 2019 Moreover, the cat’s independence suggested a willful rebellion against the teaching of the Bible, which said that Adam had dominion over all the animals. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "The Dark Lore of Black Cats," 18 Oct. 2018 The things fathers pass on to their sons extend far beyond the dominion of the Y chromosome. New York Times, "What My Father Gave Me," 16 June 2018 The timing of Everything is Love points to the couple's desire for dominion over the summer -- one already filled with high-profile releases -- and predominance over the culture. Max Cea, Billboard, "With 'Everything Is Love,' Beyoncé and JAY-Z Flex on Kanye West and the World," 17 June 2018 After Britain granted Canada dominion status in 1867, and the line along the 49th was marked in 1873, Canadians and their North-West Mounted Police let it be known that the border was real. Porter Fox, Outside Online, "Exploring America's Forgotten Border," 1 June 2018 And both, in a way, express the same sort of dominion. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "The Long Shadow of LeBron Hangs Over Another Raptors Season," 7 May 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for dominion

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dominion

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

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More Definitions for dominion

dominion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dominion

formal
: the power to rule : control of a country, region, etc.
: the land that a ruler or government controls
: a country that was part of the British Empire but had its own government

dominion

noun
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

dominion

noun
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

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Comments on dominion

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