ruling, governing, or controlling; having or exerting authority or influence: dominant in the chain of command.
occupying or being in a commanding or elevated position.
predominant; main; major; chief: Corn is the dominant crop of Iowa.
Genetics. of or relating to a dominant.
Music. pertaining to or based on the dominant: the dominant chord.
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.
the trait or character determined by such an allele.: Compare recessive (defs. 4, 5).
Music. the fifth tone of a diatonic scale.
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.
- dom·i·nant·ly, adverb
- non·dom·i·nant, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use dominant in a sentence
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.Marty Schottenheimer’s legacy can be measured in teams’ regret over letting him go | Leonard Shapiro | February 9, 2021 | Washington Post
Some researchers have warned that if the variant takes hold in the US, it could become the dominant form by March.The fast-spreading coronavirus variant is turning up in US sewers | Stephanie Arnett | February 8, 2021 | MIT Technology Review
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.Johnson & Johnson seeks emergency FDA authorization for single-shot coronavirus vaccine | Carolyn Y. Johnson, Laurie McGinley | February 5, 2021 | Washington Post
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.Draymond Green Isn’t Scoring, But He’s Doing Everything Else For The Warriors | James L. Jackson | February 4, 2021 | FiveThirtyEight
For all that we may wish it to be, “dating” simply is not the dominant romantic culture here.Random Hook-Ups or Dry Spells: Why Millennials Flunk College Dating | Ellie Schaack | January 1, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Many young women in the BDSM subculture find their way into a dominant role, whether coming from a submissive standpoint or not.Dungeons and Genital Clamps: Inside a Legendary BDSM Chateau | Ian Frisch | December 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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.Valerie Jarrett, Obama Consigliere—and Democracy Killer | James Poulos | November 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Those in whom the impulse is strong and dominant are perhaps those who in later years make the good society actors.Children's Ways | James Sully
It was not a languid, speculative, preference of one theory of government to another, but a fierce and dominant passion.The History of England from the Accession of James II. | Thomas Babington Macaulay
Lacedaemon consequently continued to be dominant in Greece till other states began to employ regular troops.The History of England from the Accession of James II. | Thomas Babington Macaulay
But the dominant party, elated by the victory which they had gained over their adversaries, were encouraged to fresh extortions.Madame Roland, Makers of History | John S. C. Abbott
Wherever there is arbitrary rule, there must be necessity, on the part of the dominant classes, superiority be assumed.
British Dictionary definitions for dominant
having primary control, authority, or influence; governing; ruling
predominant or primary: the dominant topic of the day
occupying a commanding position
genetics : Compare recessive (def. 2)
(of an allele) producing the same phenotype in the organism irrespective of whether the allele of the same gene is identical or dissimilar
(of a character) controlled by such a gene
music of or relating to the fifth degree of a scale
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
a dominant allele or character
an organism having such an allele or character
the fifth degree of a scale and the second in importance after the tonic
a key or chord based on this
ecology a dominant plant or animal in a community
- dominantly, adverb
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
Scientific definitions for dominant
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.
Relating to the trait expressed by such a gene. See more at inheritance. Compare recessive.
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.
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.