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Origin of domineering

First recorded in 1580–90; domineer + -ing2
Related formsdom·i·neer·ing·ly, adverbdom·i·neer·ing·ness, nounnon·dom·i·neer·ing, adjectivesu·per·dom·i·neer·ing, adjectiveun·dom·i·neer·ing, adjective

Synonyms for domineering

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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to rule arbitrarily or despotically; tyrannize.
  2. to tower; to tower over or above: The castle domineers the town.

Origin of domineer

1585–95; < Dutch domineren < French dominer < Latin dominārī, equivalent to domin(us) lord + -ārī infinitive suffix
Can be confuseddominant dominate domineer (see synonym study at dominant) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for domineering


  1. acting with or showing arrogance or tyranny; imperious
Derived Formsdomineeringly, adverbdomineeringness, noun


  1. (intr often foll by over) to act with arrogance or tyranny; behave imperiously

Word Origin for domineer

C16: from Dutch domineren, from French dominer to dominate
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 domineering



1580s, from Dutch domineren "to rule" (16c.), from Middle French dominer, from Latin dominari "to rule, 'lord' it over" (see domination). Shakespeare's usage is not the earliest in English. Related: Domineering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper