Predominantly vs. Predominately – Usage & Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Are predominantly and predominately the same word? Is one of them incorrect? How can you tell the difference? At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a difference between them at all. But the mix of three little letters can give each of these adverbs different usages. Don’t worry; I’ll explain all the details right here.

What Does Predominantly Mean?

Predominantly vs. Predominately Usage Meaning

It’s a really common adverb in the English language, and it basically means mainly or mostly. We use it to express how something consists mostly of another thing or how a person or thing has a trait more evident than others.

  • A parrot’s feathers are predominately red.

Predominantly vs. Predominately: Which Is Correct?

Predominantly vs Predominately Ngram
Predominantly and Predominately Usage Trend.

Actually, both are! You can use either of these alternate spellings of the adverb interchangeably. PredominANTLY is more common and widely accepted than predominATELY, but you can use whichever one you want in writing, and it will be correct.

The difference in spellings comes from the root words predominate and predominant and the context around them.

Predominate vs. Predominant: Which Is Right?

Garner’s Modern American Usage states that predominate is a useless version of the word and should actually be used as a verb, with predominant being an adjective.

  • Verb: She will predominate over her fears.
  • Adjective: Her fears are predominant.

So, with that bit of insight, it’s clear that predominately should be an adverb with a simple verb, and predominantly should be used as an adverb with an adjective.

  • She predominately conquered her fears.
  • Her fears are predominantly the concern right now.

Some Predominantly Synonyms

  • Mainly
  • For the most part
  • Prevailing
  • Mostly
  • Primarily
  • Principally

Examples of Predominantly in a Sentence

  • Even though our town is rapidly growing, it predominantly holds that small-town charm that we all love.
  • Even though acne is predominantly an issue among teens and prepubescent kids, I’m struggling with it in my thirties.
  • My Old English bulldog is predominantly bulldog, but there is a bit of Chinese pug mixed in.
  • My grades are predominantly above average, except for math.
  • I have a colorful group of friends, but they are predominantly female.

Predominately Examples in a Sentence

Predominantly vs. Predominately Usage Meaning 1
  • 75% of seniors predominately relied on their government income each month to live.
  • I used to be an athlete in high school, although I predominately ran track and field.
  • I love the new baker in town, but they predominately make white bread, and I prefer whole wheat or whole grain.
  • I love all books, but I predominately read Fantasy Romances.
  • Let’s open a coffee shop and tea house and predominately make baked goods covered in chocolate. We’ll call it The Chocolate Kettle.
  • Everything hurts my stomach, so I predominately eat fruits and veggies.

So, Which Is Right?

Again, both can be used interchangeably these days, and either will be accepted formally or informally. But if you want to get really technical about it, use predominantly for any situation, and reserve predominately for pairing with verbs. A trick to remember the difference is that it predominately has the word ATE, which is a past tense verb.