Share this entry

dominate Syllabification: dom·i·nate
Pronunciation: /ˈdäməˌnāt/

Definition of dominate in English:


[with object]
1Have a commanding influence on; exercise control over: the company dominates the market for operating system software
More example sentences
  • A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions.
  • And humans do not attain lasting joy by power grabbing, dominating others, or heaping up public acclaim.
  • My preference is for a pluralistic world, not dominated by any single power.
control, influence, exercise control over, command, be in command of, be in charge of, rule, govern, direct, have ascendancy over, have mastery over
informal head up, be in the driver's seat, be at the helm of, rule the roost (in), wear the pants (in), have someone in one's hip pocket
literary sway
predominate, prevail, reign, be prevalent, be paramount, be preeminent
informal kick butt
1.1Be the most important or conspicuous person or thing in: the race was dominated by the 1992 champion
More example sentences
  • Two separate but important developments dominated newspaper headlines this week.
  • Today was for the student press, which is rather important in a town dominated by its university.
  • It translates not only to those short gains but, more notably, to his knack of dominating the most important games.
1.2(Of something tall or high) have a commanding position over; overlook: a picturesque city dominated by the cathedral tower
More example sentences
  • Edinburgh Castle, the most famous castle in Scotland, overlooks the city and dominates its skyline.
  • Anybody who knows Auckland will know that the city skyline is dominated by the Sky Tower.
  • Designed by Brunelleschi and built without the use of scaffolding, the impressive dome atop the cathedral dominates the city's skyline.
overlook, command, tower above/over, loom over


Early 17th century: from Latin dominat- 'ruled, governed', from the verb dominari, from dominus 'lord, master'.

  • dame from Middle English:

    In its earliest use dame meant ‘a female ruler’. It comes ultimately from Latin domina ‘mistress’, the root of which also gave us danger, dominate (early 17th century), dominion (Middle English), and dungeon. Dame was used as a form of address to a woman of rank from the Middle Ages, and in the 17th century became a legal title—it is now the title given to a woman with the rank of Knight Commander or holder of the Grand Cross in the Orders of Chivalry. Alongside this elevated use ran a more popular strand, where a dame was the mistress of a house or school, or any elderly or mature woman. This gave us the pantomime dame, the comic middle-aged character usually played by a man, who makes her first appearance in print in the early 20th century. Dame is used in the USA for any girl or woman—as Oscar Hammerstein II told us in his 1949 song from the musical South Pacific, ‘There is nothin' like a dame’. Dam (Late Middle English) in the sense ‘mother (of an animal)’ is also from dame (the sense ‘a barrier’ (Middle English) is Germanic). See also baby, damsel



Pronunciation: /ˈdäməˌnādər/
Example sentences
  • But then, human determination, imagination and ingenuity, when put to the service of justice, have had an uncanny and unpredictable way of playing havoc with the plans of dominators.
  • It ought not be surprising at all, then, that whistleblowers get persecuted using all the insidious, ingenious, devious, and oppressive means dominators in our society can apply.
  • The two were well on their way to becoming dominators of the UK trance scene.

Words that rhyme with dominate

abominate, nominate

Definition of dominate in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhôdē
arrogantly superior and disdainful