dominion

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noun do·min·ion \də-ˈmi-nyən\

Definition of dominion

  1. 1 :  domain

  2. 2 law :  supreme authority :  sovereignty <having dominion over the natural world>

  3. 3 dominions plural, Christianity :  an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy

  4. 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. 5 law :  absolute ownership

Examples of dominion in a sentence

  1. The U.S. has dominion over the island.

  2. The countries fought for dominion of the territory.

  3. 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

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>.

DOMINION Defined for English Language Learners

dominion

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noun do·min·ion \də-ˈmi-nyən\

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

dominion

play
noun do·min·ion \də-ˈmin-yən\

Definition of dominion for Students

  1. 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. 2 :  a territory under the control of a ruler :  domain

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.


Law Dictionary

dominion

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noun do·min·ion \də-ˈmin-yən\

Legal Definition of dominion

  1. 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. 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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