dom·​i·​nate ˈdä-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce dominate (audio)
dominated; dominating

transitive verb

: rule, control
an empire that dominated the world
: to exert the supreme determining or guiding influence on
the ambition that has dominated his life
: to overlook from a superior elevation or command because of superior height or position
a hill that dominates the town
: to be predominant in
sugar maples dominate the forest
: to have a commanding or preeminent place or position in
name brands dominate the market

intransitive verb

: to have or exert mastery, control, or preeminence
his desire to dominate
a dominating factor in industrial growth
: to occupy a more elevated or superior position
dominative adjective
dominator noun

Examples of dominate in a Sentence

One company has dominated the market for years. He dominated her life for many years. His work dominated the art scene last year. Our team dominated throughout the game. Our team dominated play throughout the game.
Recent Examples on the Web While the wealth management industry has been traditionally dominated by male clients and male advisors (accounting for 85% of the latter group), McKinsey said that’s changing fast. Robert Frank, CNBC, 12 July 2024 Fairlane was one of several malls that dominated the metro Detroit shopping scene. Jenna Prestininzi, Detroit Free Press, 12 July 2024 While Biden’s press conference was dominated by questions about his age, his foreign policy, or his ability to continue his campaign, some of the questions aimed at the president overlapped. Jack Birle, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 12 July 2024 Humidity dominates The other issue is that much of the energy an air conditioning unit expends goes into dehumidifying the air — not just cooling it. Shannon Osaka, Washington Post, 12 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for dominate 

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

Word History


Latin dominatus, past participle of dominari, from dominus master; akin to Latin domus house — more at dome

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dominate was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near dominate

Cite this Entry

“Dominate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


dom·​i·​nate ˈdäm-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce dominate (audio)
dominated; dominating
: to have a commanding position or controlling power over
: to seem to command by rising high above
a volcano dominates the island
dominative adjective
dominator noun

derived from Latin dominari "to rule, govern, control," from dominus "master, owner" — related to condominium, dame, domain, dominion, don entry 2

More from Merriam-Webster on dominate

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