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 Generally, though, members of both political parties agreed during the session that doing so is appropriate, with most appearing to eschew the highly partisan theatrics that have come to dominate congressional dialogue on many matters. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2023 Last year, The Quiet Girl opened the festival, and would later dominate the Irish film and TV awards and break local box office records, on its way to landing two BAFTA nominations and the first Oscar nomination for an Irish-language drama. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Feb. 2023 Chinese companies have come to dominate the EV supply chain, buying up mines and processing facilities around the world. WIRED, 20 Feb. 2023 Patrick is also placing emphasis on red meat cultural issues that have come to dominate the Republican agenda for the past several years. Dallas News, 13 Feb. 2023 The genes copy themselves exponentially from generation to generation, rapidly coming to dominate the whole population. Matthew Cobb, Scientific American, 13 Jan. 2023 In the mid-1800s — the early days of Texas independence — the Peeler family began snapping up land for a namesake ranch that would come to dominate its corner of Atascosa County. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Jan. 2023 So how did such weak, wimpy creatures come to dominate the planet? Alisa Bowman, Discover Magazine, 30 Dec. 2022 Knapped from higher-quality stone, with fluted ends that were wedged into spear tips, Clovis points came to dominate the continent’s toolmaking landscape about 13,000 years ago. Bymike Price,, 23 Dec. 2022 See More

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

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 Mar. 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

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