What word could I use to describe a person who is dominating not only physically but also in knowledge, experience, and comprehension; someone who has a vast amount of experience?

Example of a sentence:

Dominating the room with his physical and ________ presence...

  • 5
    Intellectual is a possibility. See also charisma; aura.
    – Xanne
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 3:23
  • 1
    How about gravitas? Although it doesn't fit in the sentence. Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 14:03
  • 3
    I would say "dominating" would be a sufficient word by itself. If someone is "dominating" the room, that has a lot of ambiguity of which you can decide what the nature of the domination is. They can be dominating the room by a forceful occupation, which would definitely be a form of physical presence. Or, the word could be referring to how they are figuratively dominating the room with their very presence. Everything from their stance, demeanor and speech.
    – A. Kvåle
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 22:04
  • * . . . dominating the room with his physical form and suffusing it with his aura of wisdom* Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 23:42
  • "Dominating the room with his physical and legendary/renowned/esteemed presence." Seems you are talking about someone who is well-known for the attributes you listed.
    – tblue
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 3:13

4 Answers 4



Dominating the room with his physical and cerebral presence...

It is a near synonym of intellectual:

2a : appealing to intellectual appreciation
    cerebral drama

2b : primarily intellectual in nature
    a cerebral society
    books for cerebral readers


  • Spelled out definitions often miss the nuance; they fit by literal meanings but just don't considering all the unspoken associations. 'cerebral' means 'characteristic of thinking a lot' - people can be cerebral, but a presence really can't.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 21:50
  • If a society can be cerebral, I fail to understand the objection to applying the term to a presence. It paints the proper picture.
    – jxh
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 21:56
  • The 'presence' thinks a lot and shows it or provokes a lot of thought? That just doesn't work for me. 'cerebral' is about the inner workings of something, not the external display.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 22:00
  • You are providing an alternate definition of cerebral that is not in line with the definition I have cited in the answer. A lot of words have multiple meanings where one would work for the sentence and the other meaning would not. In this case, a cerebral presence is one where the person's presence raises the intellectual appeal of the gathering.
    – jxh
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 22:04
  • I am a science fiction author and the character I am writing about has lived for millions of years, is biological, is very tall, human in shape, but very muscular, extremely smart and has the experience as well. (Some background). So when the character enters the room his presence both physically and in demeanor is a very intimidating one. Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 1:10

"Persona" could be used that way. It's meaning is, more or less, confined to the projected character, which according to Cambridge online is often a distinct entity from the real character. However, since your question seems to point more to the perceived image than the real character that is hidden inside, it is a fitting word. The projected image of strength could very well reflect an interior reality.

persona noun [ C ]

the particular type of character that a person seems to have and that is often different from their real or private character: "He had a shy, retiring side to his personality that was completely at odds with his public persona." (dictionary.cambridge.org)

And here is an example usage in a headline:

A dominant persona and its many downsides: Those in a leadership position can easily end up putting off people than winning them over. (gulfnews.com)

Your example sentence [fragment] asks for an adjective, but using persona it could be rephrased:

"Dominating the room was his persona..."


A lot of words related to mind and soul can be used here, like:

psychic or psychical: relating to the soul or mind.

emotional: relating to a person's emotions.

spiritual: not concerned with material values or pursuits.

inner: mental or spiritual.

cognitive: relating to cognition.

psychological: related to the mental and emotional state of a person.

intellectual: relating to the intellect.

mental or mindly: relating to the mind.

psychogenic: having a psychological origin or cause rather than a physical one.

  • 2
    Any particular one that you think is best?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 21:47
  • I like the Psychogenic word. Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 1:03
  • Dominating the room with his physical and psychogenic presence... Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 1:05


Charisma means, a person's essence, power of spirit, influence, and light. The essence that is felt, or sensed, even from across the room.

It is their 'non-physical' presence, which is not a part of 'intellect or mind' as others have stated - rather, it is about personal energy, and soul.

Example: Before she even said a word, I knew I had to meet her - such was her charisma.

Etymology — The English term charisma is from the Greek χάρισμα (khárisma), which means "favor freely given" or "gift of grace".


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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