English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking for an idiom that means "dominate" and can be used in the following sentence:

Our team dominated from the beginning to the end.

share|improve this question
17  
Your sentence is already idiomatic in the context of sporting games. – Lawrence Jan 25 at 8:45
1  
Yes, ruled could replace dominated in that sentence, but I think dominated conveys the idea more effectively. Is there any reason you prefer a different word? – Lawrence Jan 25 at 11:59
1  
You are looking for an expression to replace the word "dominated" in your sentence? Our team beat the dead horse from the beginning to the end. – MonkeyZeus Jan 25 at 14:31
1  
There ain't no term more domineering than "dominate". – Hot Licks Jan 25 at 20:36
1  
Internet lingo "pwned" or "owned" could be used - although rarely outside the internet. But I guess if on the internet, you'd know those already :D – Allan S. Hansen Jan 26 at 8:32

17 Answers 17

Agree with @Lawrence. Your sentence is idiomatic as it is.

However, if your team exhibited ruthless demonstration of sporting skill and acumen, then you can safely say that you "steamrollered" all your opponents.

an overpowering force, especially one that crushes all opposition with ruthless disregard

[Dictionary.com]

An example:

Australia steamrollers Pakistan in second final

share|improve this answer
15  
I've always said "steamrolls" and "steamrolled" instead of "steamrollers" and "steamrollered". Google ngrams shows the shorter version becoming more popular in the last 20 years or so. – Matt Jan 25 at 9:25
2  
I've only just noticed, I think you need the verb steamroll and not the noun form. Someone gets steamrolled see OD examples oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/steamroll – Mari-Lou A Jan 25 at 9:37
1  
@Mari-LouA - In InE, steamrollered is the frequently used term. The OED page cited by you says "steamrolled" is chiefly a North American usage. – BiscuitBoy Jan 25 at 9:44
    
@Matt using Ngram for this is tricker because steamroll/er is both a noun and a verb. Today I learned: steamroller is also a verb – Mari-Lou A Jan 25 at 9:58
1  
Additionally, the action that a steamroller does could replace dominate in the original example: Our team crushed/flattened/rolled over the opposition. – Harrison Paine Jan 25 at 15:11

In the context of contests, sporting or otherwise, this idiom springs to mind:

"Our team wiped the floor with them from beginning to end."

  • wipe the floor with: to ​defeat someone very ​easily:

    "I ​hear Italy ​beat France in the ​semifinals last ​night." "Beat them? They ​wiped the ​floor with them!"

Cambridge Dictionary


You could also say:

"we had them in the palm of our hand from beginning to end"

  • have in the palm of your hand: to have ​complete ​control over someone and to be ​able to make them do anything you ​want:

    He had the ​audience in the palm of his ​hand.

Cambridge Dictionary


Lastly, in Britain, there's an idiom which is commonly used in the circumstances of a contest:

"Our team thrashed them"

  • thrash: defeat heavily in a contest or match:

    I thrashed Pete at cards

OED

share|improve this answer

Our team crushed the opponents (from start to finish).

An example from the net

Second match against VSS Kosice became a very different story, they lost 3–0 away and then crushed the opponents with 6–0 at home, after a hat-trick by Roger Carlsson.
Wikipedia: IF Elfsborg in European football

share|improve this answer

You can use, "have/get the upper hand":

  • to have power and control over someone or a situation.

    • By half time, the Italian soccer team seemed to have the upper hand.

(Cambridge Dictionary of American idioms)

share|improve this answer

I think "owned" would work for you idiomatically.

Our team owned them from the beginning to the end.

Alternately if you are typing on the internet, you would use the below.

Our team pwnd.

share|improve this answer

Not a perfect fit but consider these:

Lord it over (someone)TFD

To dominate someone; to direct and control someone.

"Mr. Smith seems to lord it over his wife."
"The boss lords it over everyone in the office."

Get a leg up on (someone)TFD

To achieve or be in a position of advantage over someone else. 

"One must always be looking for ways to get a leg up on the competition if one wants to succeed in business."
"I've been practising all summer long, and now I've finally gotten a leg up on Keith in tennis."

share|improve this answer
1  
This has a slightly different meaning, implying a pattern of arrogant behaviour, e.g. Collins: "bully, menace... act big" and Cambridge: "to ​behave as if you are more ​important than someone and have a ​right to ​tell that ​person what to do". A gracious, sportsmanlike team can wipe the floor with the opposition without lording over them; an arrogant high-status team could lord it over their opposition without actually even winning. – user568458 Jan 26 at 12:49

You could say, Our team had the edge from the beginning to the end.

the advantage of someone and the advantage over someone ; an advantage over someone; the advantage over someone; the edge on someone; the edge over someone a position superior to that of someone else; a status wherein one controls or has superiority or authority over someone else. (Typically: get ~; give someone ~; have ~.) She'd gotten an advantage over me at the start of the competition. I got an edge on Sally, too, and she came in second. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

share|improve this answer

You can use "in the driving seat"....

E.g: our team was in the driving seat from the beginning to the end..

share|improve this answer

You could use Outclassed

The dictionary on Reference.com lists it as:

verb (used with object)

  1. to surpass in excellence or quality, especially by a wide margin; be superior:

"He far outclasses the other runners in the race."

share|improve this answer

Whitewash:

Sports Informal. a defeat in which the loser fails to score.

Not necessarily the same but if the score was X-0, you could say, 'Our team won the match 5-0, it was a total whitewash.'

[Dictionary.com]

share|improve this answer
    
Hi, The Cat, I really like your answer. Can you include a dictionary link or reference that can support your answer? We don't encourage an answer without it in this community. Please let me know after you edit your answer. I will upvote it. Thanks. – Rathony Jan 26 at 13:39
    
Okay! I've added a link. – The Cat Jan 26 at 13:52
1  
Great. I copied and pasted essential part of the link, placed a period after whitewash and wrote the name of the source. Please try to follow this format. Good luck. :-) – Rathony Jan 26 at 14:00

I think you have one of the best words for your sentence, but you could also use:

Wrecked

destroy or severely damage (a structure or vehicle).

"the blast wrecked more than 100 houses"

share|improve this answer

There is an American English idiom, but one which British speakers are familiar with, it emphasizes the ease of a team's victory

Our team won the match easily, it was like taking candy from a baby
Beating them was the ​easiest thing in the ​world - it was like taking ​candy from a ​baby

share|improve this answer

You could also use the word overwhelm, or rout.

Meaning:

defeat completely.

""his teams overwhelmed their opponents"

Synonyms: defeat (utterly/heavily)

share|improve this answer

You could say: "Our team had its own way from the beginning to the end."

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. S.v. "one's way." :

*one's (own) way (with someone or something)

[get/have] one's control over someone or something. (*Typically: get ~; have ~.)

share|improve this answer
    
This comes with a warning that it's also a slightly old-fashioned euphamism for sex... it's seldom used in modern speech, but is often used in period dramas etc (also as "to have one's wicked way with"), so it could lead to an unfortunate misunderstanding... – user568458 Jan 26 at 12:55

Another one often used in sports:

[Our team] ran rings around [their team]

Or, "ran circles around".

Example of real-life usage in a sports context:

Embarrassing stat highlights how Bayern Munich ran rings around Arsenal

Definition (from Free Dictionary Idioms, can't find a better source):

Run rings around. Also, run circles around. Be markedly superior to, as in Ethan runs rings around David in chess, or In spelling, Karen runs circles around her classmates.

As you can see from the examples, you use it in present tense if you're saying X is, as a characteristic, dominant in ability over Y, and in past tense if you're saying that, on a particular occasion, X did dominate Y by outperforming them.

share|improve this answer

Owned

  • to acknowledge as one's own; recognize as having full claim, authority, power, dominion, etc.
  • to totally defeat, gain control over, or dominate in a competition

=> I totally owned the last two levels of the game.

=> He owned the season from beginning to end and took the world title.

See also: Pwnd

share|improve this answer

You could consider using the verb outpower in your example which means:

[with object] To exceed in power; to defeat by superior power or force.

Actual usage:

On a cold and windy evening, Serena Williams easily advanced to the quarterfinals of the Omnium Du Maurier Canadian Open in Montreal, defeating Anna Kournikova in straight sets. Seeded fourth, Williams outpowered her Russian opponent whom she had never played before in front of a full stadium of nearly 11000 spectators.

[HurriyetDailyNews.com article]

share|improve this answer

protected by Kit Z. Fox Jan 26 at 2:27

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.