St Mirren’s sorry slide in the SPL continued with their fifth straight league defeat.
Aberdeen scored twice in the first half, before two second-half strikes put them on easy street.
Steven Thompson grabbed St Mirren’s consolation late on.
Buddies boss Danny Lennon made two changes to the side with Gary Teale replacing Thomas Reilly, while Jon Robertson took over the midfield anchor duties from the suspended Jim Goodwin.
Sam Parkin headed over a Teale cross at the near post in the first chance of the match, before the visitors took the lead when Johnny Hayes picked up a Josh Magennis pass and sent a shot towards goal that was blocked.
But the Dons man got the rebound and he lashed it into the bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the box.
Moments later, Saints were agonisingly close to equalising when Thompson sent a glancing header off the underside of the bar from Teale’s free-kick.
Marc McAusland and Chris Clark were both booked inside the space of a minute for late tackles on Ryan Fraser and Teale, before Fraser saw a right-foot shot in the box blocked.
Thompson again was unlucky with a header, sending a glancing one wide of the far post, following Teale’s trickery on the right.
But the Dons extended their lead seconds before ref Stephen Finnie blew for half-time.
Aberdeen broke on the counter attack and Niall McGinn raced on to a Fraser pass to double the visitors’ lead.
Five minutes after the restart, striker Thompson sliced a shot wide after he picked up a Kenny McLean return pass.
At the other end, Hayes side stepped a challenge to send a right-foot shot fractionally high and wide from 14 yards.
Seconds later, with Saints looking exposed at the back, Fraser saw an effort on goal take a touch off Samson and graze the crossbar on its way over.
Saints youngster Reilly replaced Robertson for the remaining 30 minutes as the Buddies sought to salvage the match.
Russell Anderson and van Zanten had a confrontation on the halfway line after Fraser went to ground from McAusland’s challenge but the referee only saw fit to lecture them.
Lewis Guy replaced Sam Parkin up front, before Dougie Imrie made way for Graham Carey.
Paul Dummett saw a deflected shot from the left side safely gathered by Jamie Langfield, before McLean sent a left-foot effort from distance trickling harmlessly wide.
With time running out, van Zanten forced a wonderful one-handed save from Langfield when he connected with Teale’s backpass on the edge of the box and fired in an angled right-foot shot, but the Paisley-born keeper was equal to the task, sending it wide.
Clark was left all alone in front of goal after 86 minutes, picking up Scott Vernon’s pass and sending a low drive under the body of Samson for 3-0.
The misery was almost complete two minutes later when a shot from Mark Reynolds took a deflection and landed in the net with Samson beaten.
Thompson made it 4-1 but it was scant consolation for the home support.