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 predominate (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 Most cases – new and existing – are of B.1.1.7, a variant first seen in the United Kingdom that the CDC says could become America's predominate version in March. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, "US records record daily increase of variant cases; Florida lags in vaccinations of oldest residents; 513K US deaths. Latest COVID-19 updates," 1 Mar. 2021 The predominate wind flow from the storm was east to west, creating damaging winds but not pushing the water up the Calcasieu River, Truchelut said. Ashley White, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Laura's 'unsurvivable' storm surge: It looks like Louisiana was spared, but some rural areas likely hit hard," 28 Aug. 2020 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 Grasses predominate on the tundra, but scientists are increasingly finding that shrubs are muscling in on their turf. Matt Simon, Wired, "More Lightning in the Arctic Is Bad News for the Planet," 7 Apr. 2021 But the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords gerrymandered the country along sectarian lines, giving a degree of autonomy to the area where Orthodox Serbs predominate. Rick Steves,, "Rick Steves: The back road to Mostar: Off the beaten path in Bosnia-Herzegovina," 26 Feb. 2021 But in those suburban markets where traditional single-family homes predominate, there’s a sharp mismatch between what people want and what’s out there to buy. Tim Logan,, "The spring housing market approaches. Good luck.," 16 Mar. 2021 In each state, skunk and bat rabies predominate, and in each state a total of six dogs tested positive for rabies from 2013 to 2018. Gustav Cappaert/undark, Popular Science, "Americans spend millions of dollars on rabies treatments each year. They don’t have to.," 25 Feb. 2021 In the youngest children, most injuries are to the head and neck, and beyond the age of 6, extremity wounds (arms, legs, hands) become increasingly prevalent and predominate after the age of 11, Dr. McLoughlin said. New York Times, "Got a Pandemic Puppy? Learn How to Prevent Dog Bites," 23 Feb. 2021 Wax prints and colors predominate, sport elements intermingle with lingerie touches, and almost everything stretches for comfort. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "More Than 30 Years Into His Career, Byron Lars Is Starting Over With In Earnest," 25 Feb. 2021 Such work usually starts with checking which flu strains are circulating around the world and predicting which of them will likely predominate in the year ahead. Mike Stobbe,, "The flu has virtually disappeared from US, thanks to COVID-19 measures," 25 Feb. 2021 If the rapacious thieves predominate, the industry will end up with ugly restrictions driven by revenge and raw envy. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "67% of you made more in 2020 than in 2019," 18 Feb. 2021

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

Last Updated

26 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Predominate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for predominate



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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