domesticate

verb
do·​mes·​ti·​cate | \ də-ˈme-sti-ˌkāt How to pronounce domesticate (audio) \
domesticated; domesticating

Definition of domesticate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bring into use in one's own country : to bring into domestic use : adopt started to domesticate European customs
2 : to adapt (an animal or plant) over time from a wild or natural state especially by selective breeding to life in close association with and to the benefit of humans The Asian equids, including the now-endangered Przewalski's horse, apparently provided the stock from which the horse was domesticated five to six thousand years ago.— Bruce J. MacFadden But every reader addicted to coffee can thank ancient Ethiopian farmers for domesticating the coffee plant.— Jared Diamond
3 : to cause to become adapted to life in a household : to make fit for domestic life wasn't interested in becoming domesticated
4 : to bring to the level of ordinary people

domesticate

noun
do·​mes·​ti·​cate | \ də-ˈme-sti-kət How to pronounce domesticate (audio) , -ˌkāt \

Definition of domesticate (Entry 2 of 2)

: a domesticated (see domesticate entry 1 sense 2) animal or plant

Examples of domesticate in a Sentence

Verb Horses and oxen have been domesticated to work on farms. She jokes that dogs are easier to domesticate than men.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Among the green forests and pristine mountain air, inmates wearing blue shirts and bluejeans would learn to battle wildfires, domesticate wild horses and clear trees for hiking trails. New York Times, 10 Jan. 2022 But Charles Darwin, who had spent his career struggling to domesticate the idea that life had emerged by a natural, gradual process, disavowed any inheritance of revolutionary or Francophile tendencies. Jessica Riskin, The New York Review of Books, 11 Mar. 2021 Here is a current list of states which allow out-of-state businesses to domesticate within the state's borders. Allbusiness, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Hillman came up with new theories about how Neolithic man foraged ancient wild wheat, barley and other grains and eventually learned to domesticate these wild strains. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Aug. 2021 Ancient hunters and farmers living in the foothills and valleys of western Iran’s verdant highlands may have been among the first people to domesticate livestock. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, 7 June 2021 Santa Claus was part of a broader movement to domesticate the holiday by creating a warm, comforting family event centered around giving gifts to children. Jason Zweig, WSJ, 25 Dec. 2020 Aquaculture projects worldwide are hustling to domesticate new species—a kind of gold rush rare in terrestrial farming. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, 19 Nov. 2020 To do it in synagogue is almost to domesticate the shofar in this lovely environment inside. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Many of the herbivores grazing the mixed scrub are tough domesticates standing in as surrogates for extinct species. Christopher Preston, The Atlantic, 9 Apr. 2020 The idea was first floated in 2016 when a group including University of São Paulo plant physiologist Lázaro Eustáquio Pereira Peres revealed a plan to re-domesticate tomatoes. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, 15 Apr. 2019 Their brains are smaller than chimpanzees’, a shift also seen in many domesticates. John Hawks, WSJ, 25 Jan. 2019 So if ants are growing wet habitat-loving fungi, and remove them to a dry habitat, that's sort of like humans taking one of their domesticates out of its native range. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, 12 Apr. 2017 So if ants are growing wet habitat-loving fungi, and remove them to a dry habitat, that's sort of like humans taking one of their domesticates out of its native range. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, 12 Apr. 2017

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

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First Known Use of domesticate

Verb

circa 1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for domesticate

Verb

see domestic entry 1

Noun

see domestic entry 1

Learn More About domesticate

Time Traveler for domesticate

Time Traveler

The first known use of domesticate was circa 1639

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Dictionary Entries Near domesticate

domestic architecture

domesticate

domesticated

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Statistics for domesticate

Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Domesticate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/domesticate. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for domesticate

domesticate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of domesticate

: to breed or train (an animal) to need and accept the care of human beings : to tame (an animal)
: to grow (a plant) for human use
: to train (someone) to behave in an appropriate way at home (such as by using good manners, being polite, being helpful, etc.)

domesticate

verb
do·​mes·​ti·​cate | \ də-ˈme-sti-ˌkāt How to pronounce domesticate (audio) \
domesticated; domesticating

Kids Definition of domesticate

: to bring under the control of and make usable by humans Humans domesticated dogs thousands of years ago.

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