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

Definition of predominate

 (Entry 1 of 2)


pre·​dom·​i·​nate | \ pri-ˈdä-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce predominate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce predomination (audio) \ 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

Adjective the predominate color in the painting the predominate reason for the change Verb Older people predominate in that neighborhood.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For now, however, gendered pronouns remain entrenched, and the predominate view appears to be that when pronouns are spelled out by all, everyone benefits. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Those she/her/hers at the end of email messages are more than a passing trend," 24 June 2019 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 Lots of good responses to my request for predictions for the next decade, with two issues predominating—the rapid advance of data and A.I., and the rapid deterioration of skills as a result. David Meyer, Fortune, "Your Predictions for the 2020s," 20 Dec. 2019 And so another approach, known as neural networks, or machine learning, has predominated in the past two decades or so. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "How TikTok Holds Our Attention," 23 Sep. 2019 At the other end of the color spectrum, what might be called cocktail hues predominated, from Sterling K. Brown’s vivid burgundy Brioni dinner jacket and James van der Beek’s peach bellini-hued velvet, also from Brioni. Vincent Boucher, The Hollywood Reporter, "10 Best Dressed Men at the 2019 Emmy Awards," 22 Sep. 2019 Shows about doctors, lawyers, detectives and quirky, multigenerational families predominate. Time, "The Best—And Worst—New Network Shows of Fall 2019," 20 Sep. 2019 The two most-polluted cities in China in 2018 were in the western Xinjiang region, where ethnic Uighurs, a minority group, predominate. Washington Post, "Choking China," 13 May 2015 The Syrian refugees in Turkey are majorly Sunni Muslim – the same faith that predominates in both Turkey and Syria. Deina Abdelkader, The Conversation, "Deportation to Syria could mean death for women, children and LGBTQ refugees in Turkey," 22 Oct. 2019 And because many of these calendars predominate in the parts of the world that are bearing the brunt of climate change, notably tropical and dryland areas, the value of their knowledge is shriveling fast. Peter Schwartzstein, National Geographic, "Indigenous farming practices failing as climate change disrupts seasons," 14 Oct. 2019 They also are not preoccupied with the social questions that predominate in American general elections., "“Americans find that odd, a real disconnect. But it speaks to the way powers are shared in Canada. The separation of powers in Canada is less among the institutions of government than it is between Ottawa and the provinces.’’," 4 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of predominate was in 1589

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Statistics for predominate

Cite this Entry

“Predominate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for predominate


How to pronounce predominate (audio)

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 How to pronounce predominate (audio) \
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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Comments on predominate

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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