[ duh-mes-tik ]
/ dəˈmɛs tɪk /
See synonyms for: domestic / domestics on





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Origin of domestic

First recorded in 1515–25; from Latin domesticus, derivative of domus “house” (see dome); replacing domestique, from Middle French

historical usage of domestic

The English word domestic ultimately comes from Latin domesticus, formed from the noun domus “house, home, family, household (with dependents), school (of philosophy).” The adjectival suffix -esticus is a combination of two suffixes: -estis (the adjective domestis does not exist in Latin) and -ticus (borrowed from rusticus “pertaining to a farm or farming, rural, provincial”).
When the adjective domestic first appeared in English in the early 16th century, it meant “housed.” The sense “relating to one’s own country” dates to 1545, and Shakespeare was presumably the first to use domestic in the sense “relating to one’s home or family affairs.”
The noun domestic “something made in the home” dates from the first half of the 17th century. In the United States, in the first half of the 19th century, domestic developed the specific meaning “homemade cotton cloth.” Its plural domestics now means “household items made of cloth, such as sheets, towels, and tablecloths.”
Domus comes from the Proto-Indo-European root dem-, dom- (with variants) used to form a verb “to chop (wood), build" as well as the noun "a house.” Dom- is also the source of Greek dómos “house,” Sanskrit dáma- “house, building,” Slavic dom “house, home.” The variant dem- forms Greek démein “to build”; the suffixed root demro- becomes timra- in Germanic, whose derivative noun timram “building material, wood,” becomes timber in English.
The English word dome, “a vault, having a circular plan and usually in the shape of a portion of a sphere,” ultimately derives from Latin domus (Deī) “house (of God),” which becomes Italian duomo and German Dom, both meaning “cathedral.”

OTHER WORDS FROM domestic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for domestic

British Dictionary definitions for domestic

/ (dəˈmɛstɪk) /


of or involving the home or family
enjoying or accustomed to home or family life
(of an animal) bred or kept by man as a pet or for purposes such as the supply of food
of, produced in, or involving one's own country or a specific countrydomestic and foreign affairs


a household servant
informal (esp in police use) an incident of violence in the home, esp between a man and a woman

Derived forms of domestic

domestically, adverb

Word Origin for domestic

C16: from Old French domestique, from Latin domesticus belonging to the house, from domus house
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