from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Control or the exercise of control; sovereignty.
  • noun A territory or sphere of influence or control; a realm.
  • noun A self-governing nation under the nominal rule of the British monarch.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Lordship; sovereign or supreme authority; the power of governing and controlling; empire: as, a territory under the dominion of a foreign power.
  • noun The right of uncontrolled possession, use, and disposal; power of control.
  • noun A territory and people subject to a specific government or control; a domain: as, the dominions of Prussia.
  • noun plural Same as dominations. See domination, 3.
  • noun Synonyms Sovereignty, sway, control, rule, mastery, ascendancy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Sovereign or supreme authority; the power of governing and controlling; independent right of possession, use, and control; sovereignty; supremacy.
  • noun Superior prominence; predominance; ascendency.
  • noun That which is governed; territory over which authority is exercised; the tract, district, or county, considered as subject. Also used figuratively.
  • noun A supposed high order of angels; dominations. See Domination, 3.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun power or the use of power; sovereignty over something.
  • noun a kingdom, nation, or other sphere of influence.
  • noun historical One of the colonies of the British Empire given self-government through the Statute of Westminster, such as Canada or Newfoundland.
  • noun Biblical tradition An order of angel in Christian angelology, ranked above angels and below thrones.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a region marked off for administrative or other purposes
  • noun one of the self-governing nations in the British Commonwealth
  • noun dominance or power through legal authority


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English dominioun, from Old French dominion, from Medieval Latin dominiō, dominiōn-, from Latin dominium, property, from dominus, lord; see dem- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English dominion, from Middle French dominion, from Medieval Latin dominio, equiv. to Latin dominium ("lordship, right of ownership"), from dominus ("lord"), from domus ("house"). See domain, demain, demesne.



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  • And death shall have no dominion.

    Dead men naked they shall be one

    With the man in the wind and the west moon;

    When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,

    They shall have stars at elbow and foot;

    Though they go mad they shall be sane,

    Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;

    Though lovers be lost love shall not;

    And death shall have no dominion.

    And death shall have no dominion.

    Under the windings of the sea

    They lying long shall not die windily;

    Twisting on racks when sinews give way,

    Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;

    Faith in their hands shall snap in two,

    And the unicorn evils run them through;

    Split all ends up they shan't crack;

    And death shall have no dominion.

    And death shall have no dominion.

    No more may gulls cry at their ears

    Or waves break loud on the seashores;

    Where blew a flower may a flower no more

    Lift its head to the blows of the rain;

    Though they be mad and dead as nails,

    Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;

    Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,

    And death shall have no dominion.

    -- Dylan Thomas

    October 30, 2007

  • Nice, SoG. Thanks for posting that.

    October 30, 2007

  • Yeah, nice tag too!

    October 30, 2007

  • Spot on, SoG. That's precisely what comes to mind every time I hear this word.

    June 24, 2008

  • "At the height of the Roman Empire, the Romans had an estimated 37 major military bases scattered around their dominions. At the height of the British Empire, the British had 36 of them planetwide. Depending on just who you listen to and how you count, we have hundreds of bases. According to Pentagon records, in fact, there are 761 active military 'sites' abroad."

    - Tom Engelhardt, 'Going on an Imperial Bender', 4 Sep 2008.

    September 5, 2008

  • From your description, this word seems to be commonly understood as interchangeable with domination, which is unfortunate, and erroneous.

    Genesis Ch 1 26:" And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (KJV)

    Perhaps if we understood dominion to be different to domination, namely as incorporating wisdom, responsibility, balance, justice, lovingkindness etc., the state of our world might be far healthier!

    May 30, 2009