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[duh-mes-ti-keyt] /dəˈmɛs tɪˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), domesticated, domesticating.
to convert (animals, plants, etc.) to domestic uses; tame.
to tame (an animal), especially by generations of breeding, to live in close association with human beings as a pet or work animal and usually creating a dependency so that the animal loses its ability to live in the wild.
to adapt (a plant) so as to be cultivated by and beneficial to human beings.
to accustom to household life or affairs.
to take (something foreign, unfamiliar, etc.) for one's own use or purposes; adopt.
to make more ordinary, familiar, acceptable, or the like:
to domesticate radical ideas.
verb (used without object), domesticated, domesticating.
to be domestic.
Origin of domesticate
1635-45; < Medieval Latin domesticātus (past participle of domesticāre), equivalent to domestic- domestic + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
[duh-mes-ti-kuh-buh l] /dəˈmɛs tɪ kə bəl/ (Show IPA),
domestication, noun
domesticative, adjective
domesticator, noun
nondomesticated, adjective
nondomesticating, adjective
overdomesticate, verb (used with object), overdomesticated, overdomesticating.
undomesticable, adjective
undomesticated, adjective
well-domesticated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for undomesticated
Historical Examples
  • undomesticated animals do not die of it; domesticated ones do.

    The Funny Side of Physic A. D. Crabtre
  • Nature is usually taken to mean mountains, rivers, clouds and undomesticated animals and plants.

  • He shows us the cat as a diminutive but undomesticated tiger to whom we are nothing more than an overgrown and uneatable prey.

    Major Prophets of To-Day Edwin E. Slosson
  • Another maxim was, to keep Jemima ignorant of her own capacity, lest she should set up for a genius, and be undomesticated.

    The Ladies' Vase

    An American Lady
  • There are many features in the life of the Swallow so prominent, that no undomesticated bird is more thoroughly known.

  • Of all the undomesticated animals of Palestine, none is mentioned so frequently as the Lion.

    Bible Animals; J. G. Wood
  • This penalty to future generations for becoming Christians was afterwards extended to all the undomesticated races.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • For she was very lightly clad; and (except in Egypt) Cats are terrible to undomesticated goddesses.

    The Valley of Vision Henry Van Dyke
  • The aborigines had a fierce, undomesticated dog, which they hunted for its flesh.

  • Incidentally there was a good deal of unauthorized and undomesticated livestock.

    A Yankee in the Trenches R. Derby Holmes
British Dictionary definitions for undomesticated


verb (transitive)
to bring or keep (wild animals or plants) under control or cultivation
to accustom to home life
to adapt to an environment: to domesticate foreign trees
Derived Forms
domesticable, adjective
domestication, noun
domesticative, adjective
domesticator, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for undomesticated

1834, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of domesticate. Undomestic "not caring for home life" is recorded from 1754.



1630s, of animals; 1741, of persons, "to cause to be attached to home and family;" from Medieval Latin domesticatus, past participle of domesticare "to tame," literally "to dwell in a house," from domesticus (see domestic). Related: Domesticated; domesticating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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