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 It domesticated online expression, turning it into a vehicle for institutional will. Nathaniel Friedman, The New Republic, "Moments Without Truth," 21 Oct. 2019 But the rise of agriculture, specifically domesticating dairy animals, shortened this period by introducing the availability of animal milk and even cereal grain. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Prehistoric baby bottles still have milk residue inside," 25 Sep. 2019 This moralizing revision trivializes the character’s difficult journey to healing and domesticates the tragedy. Los Angeles Times, "Review: At the Getty Villa, Sophocles gets wounded in Aaron Posner’s revamp of ‘Philoctetes’," 6 Sep. 2019 This rapid growth has reinvigorated the party’s longtime mission to domesticate a religion traditionally aligned with the West. Yanan Wang, The Seattle Times, "‘We must pay so dearly’: China’s churches raided, silenced," 7 Aug. 2018 Most fur-bearing animals have never been domesticated, which makes raising a fox for the trim of a parka inherently cruel, animal rights activists say. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, "California could soon ban sale of new fur products under bill sent to governor," 11 Sep. 2019 Most fur-bearing animals have never been domesticated, which makes raising a fox for the trim of a parka inherently crueler than aborting a karakul lamb for a wool cap, animal rights activists say. Glendale News-Press, "As California considers a fur ban, many in L.A. cling to their minks," 29 Aug. 2019 As the only known hosts of the parasite, domesticated and feral felines then spread deadly strains into their environment through oocysts—egg-like structures teeming with millions of immature T. gondii—shed in feces. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Parasite Spread by House Cats Is Killing California’s Sea Otters," 30 Aug. 2019 Tomatoes were a crop domesticated by the Aztec Indians. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Carlsbad, Baja chefs aim to heal border rift over the dinner table," 12 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "A New Green Revolution: Scientists Are Using CRISPR to Re-domesticate Fruits and Vegetables," 15 Apr. 2019 Their brains are smaller than chimpanzees’, a shift also seen in many domesticates. John Hawks, WSJ, "‘The Goodness Paradox’ Review: The Benefits of Good Breeding," 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, "How Ants Became the World’s Best Fungus Farmers," 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, "How Ants Became the World’s Best Fungus Farmers," 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

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Time Traveler for domesticate

Time Traveler

The first known use of domesticate was circa 1639

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Statistics for domesticate

Last Updated

17 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Domesticate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/domesticate?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=domest05. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for domesticate

domesticate

verb
How to pronounce domesticate (audio)

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
humorous : 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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