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pre·​dom·​i·​nate pri-ˈdä-mə-nət How to pronounce predominate (audio)


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pre·​dom·​i·​nate pri-ˈdä-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce predominate (audio)
predominated; predominating; predominates

intransitive verb

: to hold advantage in numbers or quantity
: to exert controlling power or influence : prevail

transitive verb

: to exert control over : dominate
predomination noun

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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 predominate in a Sentence

Adjective the predominate color in the painting the predominate reason for the change Verb Older people predominate in that neighborhood.
Recent Examples on the Web
The Riverbanks Zoo's study documented that three-fourth of the animals at the zoo exhibited some behavioral response to the 2017 eclipse with the predominate response being to mimic nighttime behaviors. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, 25 Mar. 2024 Looking for an explanation for why warblers are more likely to be found in parks where trees are located than on streets where buildings predominate? Daniel Foster, National Review, 30 Nov. 2023 But explaining the details of that radiation—what wavelengths predominate, how quickly its intensity rises and falls, etc.—can tell us something about the physics that dominates these events. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 17 Jan. 2024 Now that the variant is the predominate strain of the coronavirus in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidance, recommending everyone -- vaccinated or not -- wear a mask in public indoor places in areas of substantial or high transmission. Hannah Drown, cleveland, 13 Aug. 2021 While the heat is expected to be the main story this weekend and next week, dry weather will also be a predominate theme. Dallas News, 12 May 2022 The predominate memory of the dish is the peppery wake left in your mouth. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 22 July 2022 Of course, the predominate Blackness of the cast sets the film apart from other Westerns, which all but erase African Americans from that part of history. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 18 Mar. 2022 Islam is the predominate religion across the archipelago, which is reflected in the early morning calls-to-prayer, as well as the local dress. Summer Rylander, Travel + Leisure, 20 Feb. 2022
In an era when biochemistry predominates, the study of whole animals can sometimes seem like a throwback to another century. Quanta Magazine, 21 Feb. 2024 Madison’s theory of an extended republic was that self-government would work better in a large, diverse nation than in a small city-state (the locus of most prior republics) because no single faction would predominate. Daniel Foster, National Review, 30 Nov. 2023 The biggest reason is simply that Donald Trump has predominated in the media coverage and the polls. Dan McLaughlin, National Review, 14 Jan. 2024 And whereas Hindi predominates in India, Urdu is the official language of Pakistan, along with English. Phillip M. Carter, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2023 The mere fact that Black voters may have been disproportionately affected doesn’t mean race predominated—or so South Carolina asserts. Michael Li, The New Republic, 2 Oct. 2023 Criticisms of Barbie’s negative qualities have predominated discussion of her social impact: those silly heels, the pink car, the completely unrealistic body that would tip over in real life, the whiteness and blondeness, the privileging of fashion and beauty over brains. Sarah Seltzer, Time, 19 July 2023 The naturalistic theory of dreams, meanwhile, predominated in ancient Greece in the writings of philosophers like Heraclitus and Aristotle, and in much of the West since the nineteenth century. Michael W. Clune, Harper's Magazine, 4 Mar. 2022 The type of tissue that predominates through the animal's life provides the best guide to its growth rate. Kevin Padian, Scientific American, 1 May 2014

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'predominate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



alteration of predominant


Medieval Latin praedominatus, past participle of praedominari

First Known Use


1591, in the meaning defined above


1589, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of predominate was in 1589

Dictionary Entries Near predominate

Cite this Entry

“Predominate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to be predominant : prevail
: to go beyond others in number or quantity
cottages predominated
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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