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
5 law : absolute ownership
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
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, England had dominion over many countries throughout the world. Though Canada has been quite independent of Great Britain since the 19th century, it was generally referred to as the Dominion of Canada in official documents until at least the 1950s. 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.
Origin and Etymology of dominion
Middle English dominioun, from Medieval French dominion, modification of Latin dominium, from dominus —see dominical
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of dominion
DOMINION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of dominion for English Language Learners
: the power to rule : control of a country, region, etc.
: the land that a ruler or government controls
Dominion : a country that was part of the British Empire but had its own government
DOMINION Defined for Kids
Definition of dominion for Students
Word Root of dominion
The Latin word dominus, meaning “master,” gives us the root domin. Words from the Latin dominus have something to do with being another's master. To dominate is to have power and control over as if being someone's master. A domain, or land under the control of a government, is a land with a particular master or ruler. Dominion is controlling power, similar to the power of a master over others.
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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