pre·​dom·​i·​nate | \pri-ˈdä-mə-nət \

Definition of predominate 

(Entry 1 of 2)


pre·​dom·​i·​nate | \pri-ˈdä-mə-ˌnāt \
predominated; predominating; predominates

Definition of predominate (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to hold advantage in numbers or quantity

2 : to exert controlling power or influence : prevail

transitive verb

: to exert control over : dominate

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Other Words from predominate


predomination \pri-​ˌdä-​mə-​ˈnā-​shən \ noun

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


the predominate color in the painting the predominate reason for the change


Older people predominate in that neighborhood.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The predominate amount of attention this spring has been placed on the offense, perhaps for good reason: Frost’s résumé was built on this side of the ball, so expectations are high. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Five takeaways from Scott Frost's first spring game with Nebraska," 21 Apr. 2018 Housing costs played a predominate role in the number of years $1 million can last. Ron Hurtibise,, "How long would $1 million in retirement savings last in Fort Lauderdale?," 5 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the winning side of the Babe’s life predominates in these pages and in history. Katherine A. Powers, WSJ, "‘The Big Fella’ Review: American Hit Parade," 5 Oct. 2018 Zoroastrianism, a pre-Islamic faith of Persian origin, predominated. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Unfurling the Rich Tapestry of Armenian Culture," 25 June 2018 Russian-speakers predominate in the two regions, and separatist sentiment skyrocketed. Fox News, "Ukraine separatists report leader killed in cafe explosion," 31 Aug. 2018 California ZIP codes predominated, filling six of the top spots. Michael Kolomatsky, New York Times, "ZIP Codes With the Priciest Homes," 28 June 2018 Tile work took a turn in the 17th century, when the blue-and-white ceramics coming out of Holland, then a superpower in matters of taste, left its mark on Portugal, where blue and white can still predominate. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Portuguese Palace That’s a Tile Lover’s Dream Destination," 5 July 2018 Metal images tend to predominate in studies of early photography, thanks to their relative ubiquity, physical durability, and the literal brilliance of the daguerreotype and its homelier cousin the tintype. Mark Feeney,, "At Yale: on the threshold and under the volcano," 6 July 2018 Public-sector jobs in the GCC pay about three times more than private-sector ones, where foreigners predominate (see chart). The Economist, "Breaking the curseWhy Gulf economies struggle to wean themselves off oil," 21 June 2018 Cooperative behaviors predominated—making up more than 60% of interactions—when more than two-thirds of the surgical team were women. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Yelling, cursing less likely to break out in operating rooms when female surgeons are present," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'predominate.' 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 predominate


1591, in the meaning defined above


1589, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for predominate


alteration of predominant


Medieval Latin praedominatus, past participle of praedominari

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Time Traveler for predominate

The first known use of predominate was in 1589

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English Language Learners Definition of predominate

: to be more successful or powerful than other people or things

: to be greater in number or amount than other types of people or things


pre·​dom·​i·​nate | \pri-ˈdä-mə-ˌnāt \
predominated; predominating

Kids Definition of predominate

: to be greater than others in number, frequency, strength, influence, or authority In this forest, pine trees predominate.

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More from Merriam-Webster on predominate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with predominate

Spanish Central: Translation of predominate

Nglish: Translation of predominate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of predominate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on predominate

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a nest or breeding place

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