1. Architecture.
    1. a vault, having a circular plan and usually in the form of a portion of a sphere, so constructed as to exert an equal thrust in all directions.
    2. a domical roof or ceiling.
    3. a polygonal vault, ceiling, or roof.
  2. any covering thought to resemble the hemispherical vault of a building or room: the great dome of the sky.
  3. anything shaped like a hemisphere or inverted bowl.
  4. (in a dam) a semidome having its convex surface toward the impounded water.
  5. Crystallography. a form having planes that intersect the vertical axis and are parallel to one of the lateral axes.
  6. Geology. upwarp.
  7. Also called vistadome. Railroads. a raised, glass-enclosed section of the roof of a passenger car, placed over an elevated section of seats to afford passengers a full view of scenery.
  8. Horology. an inner cover for the works of a watch, which snaps into the rim of the case.
  9. a mountain peak having a rounded summit.
  10. Slang. a person’s head: I wish I could get the idea into that thick dome of yours.

verb (used with object), domed, dom·ing.

  1. to cover with or as if with a dome.
  2. to shape like a dome.

verb (used without object), domed, dom·ing.

  1. to rise or swell as a dome.


  1. a hemispherical roof or vault or a structure of similar form
  2. something shaped like this
  3. crystallog a crystal form in which two planes intersect along an edge parallel to a lateral axis
  4. a slang word for the head
  5. geology
    1. a structure in which rock layers slope away in all directions from a central point
    2. another name for pericline (def. 2)

verb (tr)

  1. to cover with or as if with a dome
  2. to shape like a dome

“round, vaulted roof,” 1650s, from French dome (16c.), from Provençal doma, from Greek doma “house, housetop” (especially a style of roof from the east), related to domos “house” (see domestic).

In the Middle Ages, German dom and Italian duomo were used for “cathedral” (on the notion of “God’s house”), so English began to use this word in the sense “cupola,” an architectural feature characteristic of Italian cathedrals. Used in U.S. also with reference to round summits of mountains.

  1. A circular or elliptical area of uplifted rock in which the rock dips gently away, in all directions, from a central point.
  2. A wedge-shaped mineral crystal that has two nonparallel, similarly inclined faces that intersect along a plane of symmetry.
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