su·​prem·​a·​cy sə-ˈpre-mə-sē How to pronounce supremacy (audio)
 also  -ˈprē-
plural supremacies
: the quality or state of being supreme
especially : a position of unquestioned authority, dominance, or influence
military/naval supremacy
In the 20th century, two completely different models of how to run an economy battled for supremacy. Bill McKibben
Natal's well-watered valleys … became by the end of the 18th century the site of a contest for supremacyNoel Mostert
Every high school boasts its elite squad of lookers: sparkling teeth, merciless anatomy, sunny filaments of hair … . Between classes, they parade down the halls, trooping their supremacies like Clydesdales. Richard Lacayo
: ultimate authority or power
belief in the supremacy of God

Examples of supremacy in a Sentence

the Roman empire had supremacy over the entire Mediterranean world the supremacy of cashmere among wools accounts for its high price
Recent Examples on the Web Schmitt knew his team wouldn’t have its best, and yet the Cavaliers escaped Thursday’s road test with a 17-point victory in their first opportunity to reestablish their conference supremacy. Taylor Lyons, Baltimore Sun, 14 Sep. 2023 Best games of Week 1: Cowboys-Giants — an early battle for NFC East supremacy. Ben Volin,, 9 Sep. 2023 While Beijing did little to backstop other major home builders, including Evergrande, the now bankrupt property developer that once rivaled Country Garden for market supremacy, the government has displayed a greater willingness to support the firm. Claire Fu, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 The battle for division supremacy unquestionably comes down to these teams again. David Moore, Dallas News, 31 Aug. 2023 The battle for artillery supremacy between the M777 and its Russian counterparts is shaping the war in Ukraine—almost exactly as the Rand researchers had predicted. Hope Hodge Seck, Popular Mechanics, 21 Aug. 2023 Whether for its repressive capabilities, economic potential, or military advantage, AI supremacy will be a strategic objective of every government with the resources to compete. Ian Bremmer and Mustafa Suleyman, Foreign Affairs, 16 Aug. 2023 Even if Hindu supremacy does not result in widespread civil strife, the Indian government’s nationalist program could still undermine its bid for global leadership. Sushant Singh, Foreign Affairs, 4 Sep. 2023 Thompson’s integration into the paper came at a time when print’s supremacy was being quickly overthrown. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 1 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


supreme + -acy (as in primacy)

First Known Use

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of supremacy was in 1540

Dictionary Entries Near supremacy

Cite this Entry

“Supremacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


su·​prem·​a·​cy sə-ˈprem-ə-sē How to pronounce supremacy (audio)
plural supremacies
: the quality or state of being supreme
: supreme authority or power

More from Merriam-Webster on supremacy

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