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
  1. noun
    dominance or power through legal authority
    “France held undisputed dominion over vast areas of Africa”
    synonyms: rule
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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
  2. noun
    a region marked off for administrative or other purposes
    synonyms: 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
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