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(1) (Of, or pertaining to) An allele or a gene that is expressed in an organism’s phenotype, masking the effect of the recessive allele or gene when present.

(2) (Of, or pertaining to) An organism that expresses the dominant gene (or allele).

(ecology) (Of, or pertaining to) An organism or group of organisms having the most considerable influence or control in its ecological community among other organism.

(neurology) Of, or pertaining to the normal tendency for one side of the body or of one of a pair of organs to dominate or be used in consistent persistence than the other.


In genetics, the dominant is the one that determines the phenotype of an organism. Its effects are readily recognized than the effects of the recessive. Usually, a dominant allele is symbolized with a capital letter and the recessive allele a small letter, for example: Hh (where H refers to the dominant allele while h to the recessive allele).

In ecology, a dominant refers to an organism, such as an animal, dominating a social hierarchy and usually is the top predator with the greatest access to food resources, territory and mate.

In neurology, a person may be left-brained or right brained depending on which side of his brain is dominant or frequently used.

Word origin: Latin, dominant- (s. of domināns, prp. of dominārī, to dominate), equiv. to domin(us), master + -ant.

Related forms: dominantly (adverb).
Related terms: autosomal dominant, co-dominant alleles, dominant gene, dominant inheritance, dominant lethal trait, dominant trait, permanent dominant idea.

Compare: recessive.
See also: dominance.

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