dom·​i·​nant | \ ˈdä-mə-nənt How to pronounce dominant (audio) , ˈdäm-nənt \

Definition of dominant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others the dominant culture
b : very important, powerful, or successful a dominant theme a dominant industry the team's dominant performance
2 : overlooking and commanding from a superior position a dominant hill
3 : of, relating to, or exerting ecological or genetic dominance dominant genes dominant and recessive traits
4 biology : being the one of a pair of bodily structures that is the more effective or predominant in action dominant eye used her dominant hand



Definition of dominant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 music : the fifth tone of a major or minor scale (see scale entry 5 sense 1)
2a genetics : a character or factor that exerts genetic dominance (see dominance sense 1b)
b ecology : any of one or more kinds of organism (such as a species) in an ecological community that exerts a controlling influence on the environment and thereby largely determines what other kinds of organisms are present dominant conifers
c sociology : an individual having a controlling, prevailing, or powerful position in a social hierarchy : a dominant (see dominant entry 1 sense 1) individual in a social hierarchy

Other Words from dominant


dominantly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for dominant


dominant, predominant, paramount, preponderant mean superior to all others in influence or importance. dominant applies to something that is uppermost because ruling or controlling. a dominant social class predominant applies to something that exerts, often temporarily, the most marked influence. a predominant emotion paramount implies supremacy in importance, rank, or jurisdiction. unemployment was the paramount issue in the campaign preponderant applies to an element or factor that outweighs all others in influence or effect. preponderant evidence in her favor

Examples of dominant in a Sentence

Adjective The company is now dominant in its market. It is the dominant culture in the region. the dominant female of the pack
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The only Omicron sub-variant with its own name may become the next globally dominant strain of COVID-19. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 11 Aug. 2022 The alarming spread of omicron subvariants — particularly BA.5, which has quickly become the dominant coronavirus strain in the U.S. — has again put a spotlight on how well COVID-19 rapid antigen tests work at this stage in the pandemic. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Aug. 2022 The jump in cases stems mainly from the highly transmissible omicron offshoot, BA.5, which, in recent weeks, has become the dominant strain in the United States driving a wave of cases across the country. Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post, 30 July 2022 Biden has likely been infected with the BA.5 omicron subvariant of COVID-19, which is currently the virus' most dominant strain in the U.S., his physician wrote in a memo Saturday. Editors, USA TODAY, 24 July 2022 In contrast, the current dominant strain is Omicron subvariant BA.5, which is more transmissible than the original virus from 2020. Kent Sepkowitz, CNN, 22 July 2022 That will probably be too late to stop BA.5, the highly transmissible subvariant that has quickly become the dominant strain in the United States. Sally Pipes, Forbes, 18 July 2022 Just since April, three different subvariants — BA.2, BA.2.12.1 and now BA.5 — have been estimated to be the dominant strain nationwide. Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2022 The latest variant, BA.5, has become the dominant strain in the U.S., making up more than 65% of all COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 14 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun However, the drug was tested in unvaccinated people during the Delta variant surge, so the results could look different for people who take the pills now, with the Omicron variant dominant. Jen Christensen, CNN, 22 July 2022 Sunday’s blowout loss and last week’s stunning defeat to the Jets have erased all the goodwill coach Zac Taylor earned from a 5-2 start and a dominant over the Ravens. C.j. Doon,, 9 Nov. 2021 But the system has changed to become point-guard dominant. Ira Winderman,, 24 Oct. 2021 If Duarte pans out, he's considered a more versatile version of McDermott who is right-hand dominant and primarily used on one side of the floor because of it. J. Michael, The Indianapolis Star, 30 July 2021 In California, new data from the California Department of Public Health found that 35.6% of coronavirus variants analyzed in June have been delta variant, up from 5.6% in May and making the delta variant the dominant in the state. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, 5 July 2021 After six wins last season behind a dominant, if under the radar, nationally ranked defense, WVU could be poised for a move in the Big 12. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, 28 May 2021 The vaccine also has been found to have good efficacy against the variant dominant in South Africa. Mogomotsi Magome And Andrew Meldrum, Star Tribune, 14 Apr. 2021 Experts think the AstraZeneca vaccine could still offer better protection against severe disease and death caused by the variant dominant in South Africa, but that has not yet been tested. Mogomotsi Magome, Star Tribune, 16 Feb. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dominant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dominant


circa 1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dominant

Adjective and Noun

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin dominant-, dominans, present participle of dominari — see dominate

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Time Traveler for dominant

Time Traveler

The first known use of dominant was circa 1532

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Dictionary Entries Near dominant



dominant seventh chord

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Statistics for dominant

Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dominant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for dominant


dom·​i·​nant | \ ˈdä-mə-nənt How to pronounce dominant (audio) \

Kids Definition of dominant

1 : controlling or being more powerful or important than all others The team is dominant in its league.
2 : being or produced by a form of a gene that prevents or hides the effect of another form A dominant gene produces brown eye color.


dom·​i·​nant | \ -nənt How to pronounce dominant (audio) \

Medical Definition of dominant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : exerting forcefulness or having dominance in a social hierarchy
2 : being the one of a pair of bodily structures that is the more effective or predominant in action the dominant eye
3 : of, relating to, or exerting genetic dominance

Other Words from dominant

dominantly adverb



Medical Definition of dominant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a dominant genetic character or factor
2 : a dominant individual in a social hierarchy

More from Merriam-Webster on dominant

Nglish: Translation of dominant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dominant for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about dominant


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