When you are in charge of something or rule it, you have dominion over it. The most famous use of the word occurs in the Christian Bible, when God grants people dominion over other animals.

If you know the word domination, then you won't be surprised that dominion also has to do with a type of ruling over others. This is an old-fashioned and Biblical-sounding word for having power. A king has dominion over his kingdom. You'd never say the President has dominion, because we live in a democracy. Dominion implies more power than that — even absolute power. A dominion can also be an area or territory controlled by a larger country or state.

Definitions of dominion

n dominance or power through legal authority

“France held undisputed dominion over vast areas of Africa”
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the state of being paramount; the highest rank or authority
British dominion over India (1757-1947)
reign, sovereignty
royal authority; the dominion of a monarch
the position or authority of a suzerain
scepter, sceptre
the imperial authority symbolized by a scepter
Type of:
ascendance, ascendancy, ascendence, ascendency, control, dominance
the state that exists when one person or group has power over another

n a region marked off for administrative or other purposes

district, territorial dominion, territory
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administrative district, administrative division, territorial division
a district defined for administrative purposes
border district, borderland, march, marchland
district consisting of the area on either side of a border or boundary of a country or an area
city district
a district of a town or city
congressional district
a territorial division of a state; entitled to elect one member to the United States House of Representatives
a district that has been developed to serve some purpose
an enclosed territory that is culturally distinct from the foreign territory that surrounds it
a territory under the jurisdiction of a count palatine
community, residential area, residential district
a district where people live; occupied primarily by private residences
a district where gold is mined
in law; the territory within which power can be exercised
mandate, mandatory
a territory surrendered by Turkey or Germany after World War I and put under the tutelage of some other European power until they are able to stand by themselves
associated state, protectorate
a state or territory partly controlled by (but not a possession of) a stronger state but autonomous in internal affairs; protectorates are established by treaty
a territory that is controlled by a ruling state
trust territory, trusteeship
a dependent country; administered by another country under the supervision of the United Nations
British East Africa
the former British territories of eastern Africa, including Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, and Zanzibar
British West Africa
the former British territories of western Africa, including Nigeria, Cameroon, Gambia, Togo, Sierra Leone, and the Gold Coast
Barbary Coast
a part of a city that is notorious for gambling dens and brothels and saloons and riotous night life (especially the waterfront of San Francisco after the gold rush of 1849)
a district of a city or town marked out for administrative purposes
business district, downtown
the central area or commercial center of a town or city
one of the administrative divisions of a large city
a small administrative division of a country
an incorporated administrative district established by state charter
the smallest administrative district of several European countries
country, land, state
the territory occupied by a nation
(United States) the largest administrative district within a state
county palatine
the territory of a count palatine
the territorial and administrative division of some countries (such as France)
a poor densely populated city district occupied by a minority ethnic group linked together by economic hardship and social restrictions
housing development
a residential area of similar dwellings built by property developers and usually under a single management
housing estate
a residential area where the houses were all planned and built at the same time
the jurisdiction or office of an abbot
the territorial jurisdiction of an archbishop
the territorial jurisdiction of an archdeacon
the area over which a bailiff has jurisdiction
the territorial jurisdiction of a caliph
bishopric, diocese, episcopate
the territorial jurisdiction of a bishop
federal district
a district set apart as the seat of government of a federation
planned community
a residential district that is planned for a certain class of residents
a residential part of town away from the central commercial district
red-light district
a district with many brothels
suburb, suburban area, suburbia
a residential district located on the outskirts of a city
a residential area outside of a city and beyond suburbia
tenement district
a residential district occupied primarily with tenement houses
the jurisdiction of a justiciar
reservation, reserve
a district that is reserved for particular purpose
school district
a district whose public schools are administered together
a former administrative district of England; equivalent to a county
range of jurisdiction or influence
the local subdivision of a diocese committed to one pastor
the jurisdiction of a patriarch
an urban district having corporate status and powers of self-government
the district administered by a prefect (as in France or Japan or the Roman Empire)
a district of a city having some distinguishing character
the area of a city (such as a harbor or dockyard) alongside a body of water
slum, slum area
a district of a city marked by poverty and inferior living conditions
province, state
the territory occupied by one of the constituent administrative districts of a nation
town, township
an administrative division of a county
a district into which a city or town is divided for the purpose of administration and elections
in law: the jurisdiction where a trial will be held
a district or province governed by a viceroy
rabbit warren, warren
an overcrowded residential area
combat zone, tenderloin
a city district known for its vice and high crime rate
the territory claimed by a juvenile gang as its own
enterprise zone
a city district where development receives special tax advantages
fringe, outskirt
a part of the city far removed from the center
Type of:
a large indefinite location on the surface of the Earth