Dominant vs predominant

Photo of author


Dominant means most influential, having the greatest importance. Dominant also means exerting the greatest influence over others. In genetics, dominant describes characteristics which are heritable even if only one parent carries the genes for those characteristics. Dominant may be used as either an adjective or a noun. The word dominant comes from the Latin word dominant, meaning ruling, governing.

Predominant means most influential, having the greatest importance. Predominant also means most conspicuous, the main element. Predominant comes from the Latin word praedominantem. Predominant is an adjective. When used to mean most influential, having the greatest importance, dominant and predominant are interchangeable, though each word has additional, separate meanings.


“If they do that we could be talking about Tottenham replacing Arsenal as the dominant force in North London.” (The Evening Standard)

Led by Will Parr at the University of NSW, the study concludes that the dingo skull shape is dominant compared with imported species. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Russia’s usually dominant duo of Zenit St. Petersburg and CSKA Moscow have been forced to watch as Chinese-funded teams snap up players who would have been prime Russian transfer targets in the past. (The New Zealand Herald)

There existed the belief that the sport contained no dominant teams, no singular forces. (The Washington Post)

Earth tones are predominant, which makes the bright colors of the sushi bar pop. (The Hartford Courant)

This provides a useful comparison and analysis of differential global labour costs and wages, the evolution of male and (increasingly predominant) female employment across sectors since the 1980s, and the state of international trade union membership. (International Socialism Journal)

In most European countries, immigrants have become the predominant social problem, not only concerning humantarian issues, but also over providing economic opportunities for all. (The Jakarta Post)