Definition of dominant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdämənənt/


1Most important, powerful, or influential: they are now in an even more dominant position in the market
More example sentences
  • He argues that historically the reaction of lesser states has been determined more by the potential power of the dominant state than by its actual behaviour or avowed intentions.
  • Geopolitics, history and common sense all indicate that a dominant power chooses its own policies without being influenced by the special wishes of others - however friendly.
  • His powerful and sometimes dominant influence on Austrian politics is a result of the refusal of the other official parties to seriously take him on.
presiding, ruling, governing, controlling, commanding, ascendant, supreme, authoritative
assertive, authoritative, forceful, domineering, commanding, controlling, pushy
1.1(Of a high place or object) overlooking others.
Example sentences
  • Councillors heard the property was in a dominant position overlooking the Upper Green, and due to design details did not contribute favourably to the appearance of the conservation area.
  • ‘We own the dominant terrain in the area’.
  • When covering a region from dominant terrain, evacuate the force by establishing a series of perimeter posts.
1.2 Genetics Relating to or denoting heritable characteristics that are controlled by genes that are expressed in offspring even when inherited from only one parent. Often contrasted with recessive.
Example sentences
  • One dominant suppressor was identified among the 112 suppressors characterized.
  • For simplicity, we assume that alleles are partially dominant and expressed in both sexes.
  • In contrast, a fully dominant modifier can never invade.
1.3 Ecology Denoting the predominant species in a plant (or animal) community.
Example sentences
  • Fluctuations in the productivity of dominant plant species should also have a significant impact on complex food webs in forest ecosystems.
  • In an environment with moving sand, tolerance to partial burial seems to be a requisite for the dominant plant species.
  • Perennial woody plants are the dominant species in many ecosystems of the world and have significant ecological and economic importance.
1.4In decision theory, (of a choice) at least as good as the alternatives in all circumstances, and better in some: holding back is here a dominant strategy
More example sentences
  • Although the dominant strategy is to not donate, approximately 50% of the students donated.
  • They too concluded that non-invasive ventilation was a dominant strategy for severe exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • In game theoretic terms, this suggests that there is a dominant strategy that mechanistically pushes all parties to compete.


1A dominant thing, in particular.
Example sentences
  • We refer to the nest usurper and new dominant of the nest as the alpha female and the subordinate female whose nest is usurped as the beta female.
  • I base the model on the simplest skew model, which presents a game between one subordinate and one dominant.
  • If dominants assess, subordinates may either commit and cooperate or remain flexible and cheat.
1.1 Genetics A dominant trait or gene.
Example sentences
  • Instead selection causes the same increase in allele frequency in both dominants and recessives, at least early on when the fates of nearly all alleles are determined.
  • This suggested that the wirehair gene is a simple dominant because there was little chance the unrelated female was carrying a recessive wirehair gene.
  • Most are inherited as autosomal dominants, and death can be prevented by implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
1.2 Ecology A dominant species in a plant (or animal) community.
Example sentences
  • In all years, the community dominants were species resilient to the stress of drawdowns, or good colonizers.
  • The presumed mechanism is the increase in biomass with fertility, and the resulting rise in competition intensity, which leads to the replacement of smaller and more-slow growing plant species by tall canopy-forming dominants.
  • In the concessions model of reproductive transactions, dominants are assumed to have complete control over reproduction and group membership.
1.3 Music The fifth note of the diatonic scale of any key, or the key based on this, considered in relation to the key of the tonic.
Example sentences
  • At the end of this deeply thought-provoking work, then, one is left wondering whether the tonic is E and the dominant B, or the tonic B with dominants D, F and G#.
  • So, as he informs us, his tonal process is principally governed by what he describes as tonics and dominants.
  • The sonata form, and its gripping epic of migration from the tonic to the dominant and then back again, is an archetype of this.



Example sentences
  • Its brightly coloured domes, apparently built to resemble St Basil's in Moscow, are unusual for a city of dominantly European architecture and are therefore a striking landmark.
  • The reason the farmers appear so dominantly in our observations is 70 per cent of the water that's used in Australia is in rural areas.
  • Weekly staff meetings are dominantly developmental in focus.


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin dominant- 'ruling, governing', from the verb dominari (see dominate).

Words that rhyme with dominant


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dom·i·nant

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