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.

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    Your sentence is already idiomatic in the context of sporting games. – Lawrence Jan 25 '16 at 8:45
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    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 '16 at 11:59
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    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 '16 at 14:31
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    There ain't no term more domineering than "dominate". – Hot Licks Jan 25 '16 at 20:36
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    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 '16 at 8:32

17 Answers 17


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



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


An example:

Australia steamrollers Pakistan in second final

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    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. – Nuclear Wang Jan 25 '16 at 9:25
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    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 '16 at 9:37
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    @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 '16 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 '16 at 9:58
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    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 '16 at 15:11

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


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)


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.


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."

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    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 '16 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


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

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


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."



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.'


  • 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. – user140086 Jan 26 '16 at 13:39
  • Okay! I've added a link. – The Cat Jan 26 '16 at 13:52
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    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. :-) – user140086 Jan 26 '16 at 14:00

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


destroy or severely damage (a structure or vehicle).

"the blast wrecked more than 100 houses"


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


You could also use the word overwhelm, or rout.


defeat completely.

""his teams overwhelmed their opponents"

Synonyms: defeat (utterly/heavily)


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 ~.)


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.



  • 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


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]

protected by Kit Z. Fox Jan 26 '16 at 2:27

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