Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin dominant-, dominans, present participle of dominari
Date: circa 1532
a. commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others <the dominant culture> b. very important, powerful, or successful <a dominant theme> <a dominant industry> 2. overlooking and commanding from a superior position <a dominant hill> 3. of, relating to, or exerting ecological or genetic dominance 4. being the one of a pair of bodily structures that is the more effective or predominant in action <dominant eye> • dominantly adverb Synonyms: dominant, predominant, paramount, preponderant mean superior to all others in influence or importance. dominant applies to something that is uppermost because ruling or controlling <a dominant social class>. predominant applies to something that exerts, often temporarily, the most marked influence <a predominant emotion>. paramount implies supremacy in importance, rank, or jurisdiction <unemployment was the paramount issue in the campaign>. preponderant applies to an element or factor that outweighs all others in influence or effect <preponderant evidence in her favor>. II. noun Date: 1819 1. the fifth tone of a major or minor scale 2. a. a dominant genetic character or factor b. any of one or more kinds of organism (as a species) in an ecological community that exerts a controlling influence on the environment and thereby largely determines what other kinds of organisms are present c. a dominant individual in a social hierarchy
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.