—dominantly, adv./dom"euh neuhnt/, adj.1. ruling, governing, or controlling; having or exerting authority or influence: dominant in the chain of command.2. occupying or being in a commanding or elevated position.3. predominant; main; major; chief: Corn is the dominant crop of Iowa.4. Genetics. of or pertaining to a dominant.5. Music. pertaining to or based on the dominant: the dominant chord.n.6. Genetics.a. the one of a pair of alternative alleles that masks the effect of the other when both are present in the same cell or organism.b. the trait or character determined by such an allele. Cf. recessive (defs. 4, 5).7. Music. the fifth tone of a diatonic scale.8. Ecol. any of one or more types of plants, or sometimes animals, that by virtue of abundance, size, or habits exert so important an influence on the conditions of an area as to determine, to a great extent, what other organisms can live there.[1525-35; < L dominant- (s. of dominans, prp. of dominari to DOMINATE), equiv. to domin(us) master + -ant- -ANT]Syn. 1. prevailing, principal. DOMINANT, PREDOMINANT, PARAMOUNT, PREEMINENT describe something outstanding. DOMINANT describes something that is most influential or important: the dominant characteristics of monkeys. PREDOMINANT describes something that is dominant over all others, or is more widely prevalent: Curiosity is the predominant characteristic of monkeys. PARAMOUNT applies to something that is first in rank or order: Safety is of paramount importance. PREEMINENT applies to a prominence based on recognition of excellence: His work was of preeminent quality.
* * *▪ musicin music, the fifth tone or degree of a diatonic scale (i.e., any of the major or minor scales of the tonal harmonic system), or the triad built upon this degree. In the key of C, for example, the dominant degree is the note G; the dominant triad is formed by the notes G–B–D in the key of C major or C minor. For further explanations of these relationships, see also cadence and harmony.The strongest harmonic progression in tonal music is from the dominant chord to the tonic triad (i.e., the triad built upon the first note of a diatonic scale). It has been estimated that during the period when tonal harmony dominated Western music, from about 1650 into the 20th century, a substantial percentage of all harmonic successions involved a dominant–tonic relationship of some kind. The relationship between tonic and dominant keys (e.g., C major and G major) is an essential component of the tonal organization of the sonata form.Mark DeVoto
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