pre·dom·i·nant | \pri-ˈdä-mə-nənt, -ˈdäm-nənt\

Definition of predominant 

1 : having superior strength, influence, or authority : prevailing

2 : being most frequent or common

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for predominant

dominant, predominant, paramount, preponderant mean superior to all others in influence or importance. dominant applies to something that is uppermost because ruling or controlling. a dominant social class predominant applies to something that exerts, often temporarily, the most marked influence. a predominant emotion paramount implies supremacy in importance, rank, or jurisdiction. unemployment was the paramount issue in the campaign preponderant applies to an element or factor that outweighs all others in influence or effect. preponderant evidence in her favor

Predominant vs. Predominate

Predominant and predominate are synonymous adjectives. Predominant is the older and much more common form. A number of handbooks and commentators hold predominate to be a mistake—a few insisting that the word is only a verb. But they are wrong. As an adjective predominate is somewhat more likely to turn up in technical writing than in general writing. The adverbs predominantly and predominately are a more even match in frequency than their base adjectives are, although predominantly is still significantly more common than predominately.

Examples of predominant in a Sentence

Religion is the predominant theme of the play. She is predominant among new writers.

Recent Examples on the Web

That district, which is held by Democratic state Rep. Ramon Romero, was deemed an impermissible racial gerrymander because lawmakers illegally used race as the predominant factor in deciding its boundaries. Alexa Ura, star-telegram, "Texas elections unchanged despite racial gerrymander ruling for Fort Worth House district," 3 July 2018 But Dilbeck notes that the road to success on the AzMerit test, the predominant factor the state uses to decide school letter grades, will likely be steep for Kino in coming years. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Principal: Why does a 'D' school face 'the same consequence as a sex offender'?," 29 May 2018 Most of the stock is built in suburban markets in the southeast and southwest, where single-family housing is already predominant. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Why single-family rental companies are cozying up to home builders," 15 June 2018 For one thing, the super-glossy, super-detailed quality that is predominant in Hollywood movies today strips this heist movie of the ‘70s atmosphere of its predecessors. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "In Ocean’s 8, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend," 12 June 2018 This flu season has been severe because the H3N2 strain has been predominant and is a particularly virulent strain. Cassie Cope, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte hospitals to lift flu ban on kids. Here’s what it means for visitors. | Charlotte Observer," 15 Mar. 2018 Officials have said the number of pediatric deaths could be as high as or exceed the 148 deaths from the especially severe 2014-2015 season, when the same flu strain was predominant. Lena H. Sun, miamiherald, "This deadly flu season has peaked, but a late bump could loom | Miami Herald," 5 Mar. 2018 Graham is a figure of the post-World War II era, a time of optimism and a time of Christendom, when Christian values were predominant in public discourse. Douglas A. Hicks, Fortune, "Commentary: Why We’ll Never Have Another Billy Graham," 22 Feb. 2018 Anise, the predominant note in Sambuca, gives in-season watermelon a lasting chord of resonance; mixed with tequila, Cointreau’s familiar orangy note makes an edible cocktail of the same melon. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "The 5-Minute Dessert of the Summer," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of predominant

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for predominant

Middle French, from Medieval Latin praedominant-, praedominans, present participle of praedominari to predominate, from Latin prae- + dominari to rule, govern — more at dominate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about predominant

Share predominant

Statistics for predominant

Last Updated

2 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for predominant

The first known use of predominant was in 1576

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for predominant



English Language Learners Definition of predominant

: more important, powerful, successful, or noticeable than other people or things


pre·dom·i·nant | \pri-ˈdä-mə-nənt \

Kids Definition of predominant

: greater than others in number, frequency, strength, influence, or authority a predominant view the predominant flavors

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on predominant

What made you want to look up predominant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!