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

Example Sentences

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 Believed to be distant descendants of Arab and Persian traders, the Hui have been well assimilated into broader Chinese society dominated by the ethnic Han majority. Nectar Gan, CNN, 30 May 2023 In a pattern that has dominated for weeks, a low-pressure trough will send moisture ashore, creating clouds that will flow far inland. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 May 2023 Russell and her husband both grew up Southern Baptist, a conservative, evangelical Protestant denomination that dominates this area of the Bible Belt. Linda K. Wertheimer, The New Republic, 30 May 2023 Pikulthong enters the Golfweek record book after his dominating victory becoming the first player to four-peat. Beth Ann Nichols And Todd Kelly, The Arizona Republic, 29 May 2023 Part of Birdhers mission is to provide a safe space for people of color and those in the LGBTQ community in an activity that has historically been dominated by older, white people. Austindedios, oregonlive, 28 May 2023 Erdoğan had trailed in opinion polls after a campaign dominated by the fallout from the devastating earthquake this year and the country’s economic turmoil. Neyran Elden, NBC News, 28 May 2023 It’s got brand recognition with a generation that has come to dominate New York theater houses. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 May 2023 After Slipp-Nott’s creation in the late ’80s, Julian dominated the court-traction market in the N.B.A. That changed in 2011 with the introduction of Court Grip, a bottled liquid product developed by Mission Athletecare that users could rub on the bottoms of their shoes. Kris Rhim, New York Times, 27 May 2023 See More

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 8 Jun. 2023.

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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