View synonyms for dominant


[ dom-uh-nuhnt ]


  1. ruling, governing, or controlling; having or exerting authority or influence:

    dominant in the chain of command.

    Synonyms: principal, prevailing

  2. occupying or being in a commanding or elevated position.
  3. predominant; main; major; chief:

    Corn is the dominant crop of Iowa.

  4. Genetics. of or relating to a dominant.
  5. Music. pertaining to or based on the dominant:

    the dominant chord.


  1. Genetics.
    1. the one of a pair of alternative alleles that masks the effect of the other when both are present in the same cell or organism.
    2. the trait or character determined by such an allele. Compare recessive ( defs 4, 5 ).
  2. alsocalledcomma Informal, dom. the participant in a BDSM sexual encounter or relationship to whom power and control are transferred. dominatrix ( def 1 ), domme.
  3. Music. the fifth tone of a diatonic scale.
  4. Ecology. any of one or more types of plants, or sometimes animals, that by virtue of abundance, size, or habits exert so important an influence on the conditions of an area as to determine, to a great extent, what other organisms can live there.


/ ˈdɒmɪnənt /


  1. having primary control, authority, or influence; governing; ruling
  2. predominant or primary

    the dominant topic of the day

  3. occupying a commanding position
  4. genetics Compare recessive
    1. (of an allele) producing the same phenotype in the organism irrespective of whether the allele of the same gene is identical or dissimilar
    2. (of a character) controlled by such a gene
  5. music of or relating to the fifth degree of a scale
  6. ecology (of a plant or animal species within a community) more prevalent than any other species and determining the appearance and composition of the community


  1. genetics
    1. a dominant allele or character
    2. an organism having such an allele or character
  2. music
    1. the fifth degree of a scale and the second in importance after the tonic
    2. a key or chord based on this
  3. ecology a dominant plant or animal in a community


/ dŏmə-nənt /

  1. Relating to the form of a gene that expresses a trait, such as hair color, in an individual organism. The dominant form of a gene overpowers the counterpart, or recessive, form located on the other of a pair of chromosomes.
  2. Relating to the trait expressed by such a gene.
  3. See more at inheritanceCompare recessive
  4. Being a species that has the greatest effect within its ecological community, especially by determining the presence, abundance, or type of other species. As a plant community progresses through stages of succession, different species may become dominant for a period until the climax community is reached, at which point the dominant species remains stable until a major disruption occurs. Among animals, the dominant species in a community is generally the top predator or the most abundant or widespread species.
  5. Being an animal that occupies the highest position in a social hierarchy and has the greatest access to resources such as food and a mate or mates. Social dominance is gained and maintained through factors such as size and aggressiveness.

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Derived Forms

  • ˈdominantly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • dom·i·nant·ly adverb
  • non·dom·i·nant adjective noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of dominant1

First recorded in 1525–35; from Latin dominant- (stem of domināns, present participle of dominārī “to be lord and master, domineer”; dominate ), equivalent to domin(us) “master, possessor, ruler” + -ant- -ant

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Synonym Study

Dominant, predominant, paramount, preeminent describe something outstanding. Dominant describes something that is most influential or important: the dominant characteristics of monkeys. Predominant describes something that is dominant over all others, or is more widely prevalent: Curiosity is the predominant characteristic of monkeys. Paramount applies to something that is first in rank or order: Safety is of paramount importance. Preeminent applies to a prominence based on recognition of excellence: His work was of preeminent quality.

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Example Sentences

Stephen Strasburg had one of the most dominant Octobers ever in 2019.

Schottenheimer’s preferred style was known as “Marty Ball,” built around a dominant ground game he believed was the key to offensive success.

Some researchers have warned that if the variant takes hold in the US, it could become the dominant form by March.

That result held up even in the South Africa portion of its trial, where a concerning virus variant that has shown the ability to evade some immunity has become dominant.

In the three seasons since Draymond Green was last an All-Star, Golden State has experienced both Finals victory and loss, posted one of the worst records in team history and retooled one of the most dominant lineups of all-time.

For all that we may wish it to be, “dating” simply is not the dominant romantic culture here.

Many young women in the BDSM subculture find their way into a dominant role, whether coming from a submissive standpoint or not.

The sharply tailored blazer and weighty jewelry that cling to her body hints at the dominant personality she possesses.

During these encounters, bigger, more dominant grizzlies sometimes kill younger bears (and unwary humans).

Jarrett is the first person to fully inhabit this newly dominant role.

Those in whom the impulse is strong and dominant are perhaps those who in later years make the good society actors.

It was not a languid, speculative, preference of one theory of government to another, but a fierce and dominant passion.

Lacedaemon consequently continued to be dominant in Greece till other states began to employ regular troops.

But the dominant party, elated by the victory which they had gained over their adversaries, were encouraged to fresh extortions.

Wherever there is arbitrary rule, there must be necessity, on the part of the dominant classes, superiority be assumed.


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