[dom-uh-nuh ns]


rule; control; authority; ascendancy.
the condition of being dominant.
Psychology. the disposition of an individual to assert control in dealing with others.
Animal Behavior. high status in a social group, usually acquired as the result of aggression, that involves the tendency to take priority in access to limited resources, as food, mates, or space.
Neurology. the normal tendency for one side of the brain to be more important than the other in controlling certain functions, as speech and language.

Also dom·i·nan·cy.

Origin of dominance

First recorded in 1810–20; domin(ant) + -ance
Related formsnon·dom·i·nance, nounself-dom·i·nance, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dominance

Contemporary Examples of dominance

Historical Examples of dominance

  • He was the symbol of a race abruptly exalted from inferiority to dominance.


    Stephen French Whitman

  • But that, in their eras of dominance, they were almost as firmly believed in as if they had been proved.

  • And how the nothingness of these was made more emphatic by the dominance of that!

  • It consists in the dominance of the Will over all conscious states.

  • His dominance of the night before, in the library, had returned.

    No Clue

    James Hay

British Dictionary definitions for dominance



control; ascendancy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dominance

1819; see dominant + -ance. Related: Dominancy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for dominance




The condition or state of being dominant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.