Dominate vs dominant

Dominate and dominant are words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. Confusables is a catch-all term for words that are often misused or confused; there are many confusing words in the English language that may be easily confused for each other in spoken English and written English. Two words or more than two words, even if they are common words, may be confused because they are similar in spelling, similar in pronunciation, or similar in meaning. These commonly confused words may be pronounced the same way or pronounced differently or may be spelled the same way or spelled differently, or may have different meanings or have almost different meanings; they may be homophones, homonyms, heteronyms, homographs, words that have a similar spelling, or words that have a similar meaning. Sometimes, confusables are word constructions that are not proper English words. Confusables often confound native speakers of English, and they may be difficult for ESL students and those learning English to understand. Confusables are misspelled, misused words that have a different meaning from one another and may be nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, or any other part of speech. Spelling rules in English are not dependable; there are many exceptions. Often, the best procedure to learn new words and commonly misused words and commonly confused words in English is to make word lists of English words for the learner to study to understand the difference in spelling and meaning. To learn new words in the English language, one must not only study a spelling words list, one must know the meaning of words in one’s vocabulary word list. It is also helpful to memorize how to correctly pronounce words and to know the etymology of new words or where they are derived from. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell and learn the definitions of words. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a confusable in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Confusables are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables dominate and dominant, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Dominate is a verb that means to control, to guide, to exert one’s stronger influence, to rule. Related words are dominates, dominated, dominating, domination. The word dominate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. It is derived from the Latin word, dominari, which means to govern or to rule.

Dominant is an adjective that describes something that is supreme over others, something that is successful, something that is commanding. The word dominant is also derived from the Latin word, dominari.


The shakeup has ramifications for the industries that are likely to dominate business moving forward, and investors would be wise to consider these forces when putting together long-term stock portfolios. (Winston-Salem Journal)

He also noted that Denmark’s CDC has issued stark warnings about the potential impact of the B117 variant, noting that it could raise a country’s R number by as much as 0.4 to 0.7 and that it will soon “dominate” the world. (Irish Mirror)

For the first time since the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych and the banning of his once-dominant Party of Regions, multiple surveys show that its successor, the pro-Russian “Opposition Platform-For Life,” has become the most popular political party in Ukraine, overtaking both president Volodymyr Zelensky’s “Servant of the People,” and former president Petro Poroshenko’s “European Solidarity.” (National Interest)

Last month’s elections left a hung parliament, without a dominant party to push through the appointment of speaker and other key posts. (Reuters)

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