do·​mes·​tic | \ də-ˈme-stik How to pronounce domestic (audio) \

Definition of domestic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : living near or about human habitations domestic vermin
b : tame, domesticated the domestic cat
2 : of, relating to, or originating within a country and especially one's own country domestic politics domestic wines domestic manufacturing all debts foreign and domestic
3 : of or relating to the household or the family domestic chores domestic happiness
4 : devoted to home duties and pleasures leading a quietly domestic life
5 : indigenous a domestic species



Definition of domestic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a servant hired to work for a household Her grandmother worked as a domestic.
2 : an article (such as a rug or blanket) manufactured within one's own country or for use in a household : an article of domestic (see domestic entry 1 sense 2) manufacture usually used in plural

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from domestic


domestically \ də-​ˈme-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce domestically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for domestic

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of domestic in a Sentence

Adjective The company hopes to attract both foreign and domestic investors. the surest way to maintain domestic peace and harmony is to have everyone pitch in on chores Noun She got in a domestic with her husband. working as a team, the man and his wife hired themselves out as domestics for wealthy homeowners
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Born free in Maryland around 1813 to parents who had been slaves, Douglass worked as a domestic servant for the wealthy white residents of Baltimore. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Frederick Douglass escaped slavery and became a famed abolitionist. His first wife made that possible," 7 July 2020 Dzieduszycka-Suinat detailed how the situation's more complicated for domestic voters compared to Americans abroad since there's a two-step application to register to vote and request a mail-in ballot. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Democrats are worried about mail-in voting too," 6 July 2020 The Mexican president will face a juggling act in the meeting with Trump and has come under heavy domestic criticism for his decision to attend. Fortune, "Justin Trudeau will not attend new NAFTA summit in U.S. this week," 6 July 2020 The new policy comes after Airbnb launched a campaign to promote travel closer to home amid the spread of COVID-19 as well as the increasing popularity of domestic trips this summer. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "Airbnb Implements New Rules for Guests Under 25 in Hopes of Preventing House Parties," 6 July 2020 Basically, as long as jails do exist, shouldn’t killer cops or domestic abusers be in them? Isabel Cristo, The New Republic, "Policing Doesn’t Protect Women," 6 July 2020 He was arrested on a domestic battery charge and suspended in April 2019, later pleading guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Ex-Michigan State star Andre Rison claims assistant Buck Nystrom hit him before game," 6 July 2020 Three years ago, the central government required purchasers to buy from domestic producers that could meet requirements. Keith Bradsher,, "China dominates medical supplies, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon," 6 July 2020 China’s leading domestic chip maker is minting cash in the stock market. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "China’s Semiconductor Contender Isn’t Holding That Many Chips," 6 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wild cats kill more animals than do domestics, but pet cats kill many more animals as do similarly-sized wild predators in a small area. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "New Data on Killer House Cats," 29 Apr. 2020 Smith’s department received 64 calls for service regarding domestics from March 15 to April 15. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Some Indiana counties see crime decrease during pandemic, but 'we're still out patrolling'," 21 Apr. 2020 This Focus Features release will look to stir up some deserved attention commercially and creatively upon its mid-April domestic release. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Promising Young Woman': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 26 Jan. 2020 An assortment of automakers operating in or near the city — including foreign makers Nissan, Kia, Peugeot and Honda, and Chinese domestics such as Dongfeng — were forced to halt production. NBC News, "Coronavirus expected to slam 2020 global car sales," 26 Feb. 2020 The closest match: domestics from Arabian Sea locales such as Kuwait and Oman, the researchers reported at the end of February in the journal Conservation Genetics. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, "Madagascar’s mysterious, lemur-eating cats started as ship stowaways," 10 Mar. 2020 The few larger parts that came their way were invariably those of domestics. New York Times, "Diahann Carroll, Actress Who Broke Barriers With ‘Julia,’ Dies at 84," 4 Oct. 2019 He’s been raised by his stoic, aloof father, his fiercely protective and eminently capable sister, and a flock of loving domestics, but hasn’t heard from his mother since., "jiyeun kang for the boston globe," 20 Sep. 2019 Most black Southerners were initially barred from receiving Social Security, for example, because farmworkers and domestics were not included. Eric Schickler, Vox, "Debunking the myth that “identity politics” is bad for the Democratic Party," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'domestic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of domestic


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for domestic

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Middle French domestique, from Latin domesticus, from domus — see dome entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about domestic

Time Traveler for domestic

Time Traveler

The first known use of domestic was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for domestic

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Domestic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for domestic


How to pronounce domestic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of domestic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or made in your own country
: relating to or involving someone's home or family
: relating to the work (such as cooking and cleaning) that is done in a person's home



English Language Learners Definition of domestic (Entry 2 of 2)

old-fashioned : a servant who is hired to work in someone's home : a domestic servant
British, informal : a fight between members of a family or household


do·​mes·​tic | \ də-ˈme-stik How to pronounce domestic (audio) \

Kids Definition of domestic

1 : relating to a household or a family domestic life
2 : relating to, made in, or done in a person's own country The president spoke about both foreign and domestic issues.
3 : living with or under the care of human beings : tame domestic animals

Other Words from domestic

domestically \ -​sti-​kə-​lē \ adverb


do·​mes·​tic | \ də-ˈmes-tik How to pronounce domestic (audio) \

Legal Definition of domestic

1 : of or relating to the household or family a domestic servant domestic relations — see also family court
2 : of, relating to, or originating within a country or state and especially one's own country or state the state has personal jurisdiction over domestic corporations — compare foreign, municipal

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on domestic

What made you want to look up domestic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!