Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cause to feel comfortable at home; make domestic.
  • transitive v. To adopt or make fit for domestic use or life.
  • transitive v. To train or adapt (an animal or plant) to live in a human environment and be of use to humans.
  • transitive v. To introduce and accustom (an animal or plant) into another region; naturalize.
  • transitive v. To bring down to the level of the ordinary person.
  • n. A plant or animal that has been adapted to live in a human environment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make domestic.
  • v. To make fit for domestic life.
  • v. To adapt to live with humans.
  • v. To adapt to live with humans.
  • v. To make a legal instrument recognized and enforceable in a jurisdiction foreign to the one in which the instrument was originally issued or created.
  • n. An animal or plant that has been domesticated.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make domestic; to habituate to home life.
  • transitive v. To cause to be, as it were, of one's family or country.
  • transitive v. To tame or reclaim from a wild state

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make domestic; accustom to remain much at home: as, to domesticate one's self.
  • To make an inmate of a household; associate in family life; hence, to make intimate or cause to become familiar, as if at home.
  • To convert to domestic uses, as wild animals or plants; tame or bring under control or cultivation; reclaim from a state of nature.
  • To live much at home; lead a quiet home life; become a member of a family circle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. adapt (a wild plant or unclaimed land) to the environment
  • v. make fit for cultivation, domestic life, and service to humans
  • v. overcome the wildness of; make docile and tractable

Etymologies

domestic +‎ -ate (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Despite its flaws, the rabbit is comparatively easy to domesticate, which is one reason people have been particularly eager over the past year, the Year of the Tiger, to buy bunnies.

    In China, Bunnies Are Multiplying Like Rabbits as Their Year Nears

  • Jane Simonsen, in her study of attempts to "domesticate" Native American women, writes that "implicit in this condemnation of gossip and transience is the suggestion that isolating women in their homes would keep them from speaking out in tribal councils, preserving rituals and stories, and maintaining kinship ties."

    "Make It Yourself": Home Sewing, Gender, and Culture, 1890-1930

  • Debates about translation have been raging since the Romans, and, crudely, they all come down to the same decision: whether to "domesticate" the translation or to "foreignise" it.

    languagehat.com: MAGUIRE ON TRANSLATION.

  • In theory, this could be a smart strategic move but it is likely to "domesticate" Julian Assange; running such an NGO would require too many boring meetings with potential funders many of whom have already been alienated by the organisation and a nine-to-five office routine - the exact opposite of the glamorous nomadic lifestyle that the founder of WikiLeaks has become famous for.

    The Guardian World News

  • The history of otaku culture is one of adaptation - of how to "domesticate" American culture.

    Anime Nano!

  • Transnationalists think that courts can "domesticate" international law (make it part of our law), whereas nationalists think that only the political branches can.

    The Washington Times stories: Latest Headlines

  • Indeed, there are those who believe that one of the main reasons for the creation of the Fayyad government is to emasculate and "domesticate" Fatah.

    Palestine Blogs aggregator

  • It's believed that the Botai people of modern-day Kazakhstan were the first to domesticate the horse some 5,000 years ago.

    Tracking Equine Evolution

  • They hope to domesticate his moral challenge in order to protect their own ambition.

    Richard (RJ) Eskow: Today's Visionary, Not Yesterday's Celebrity: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Words With Contemporary Images

  • Mr. Paulucci, who died on Thanksgiving day at age 93, was a serial entrepreneur whose many businesses created shelf-stable packaging for orange juice, manufactured beverage and food-service equipment, and worked to domesticate wild rice.

    Earned His Chops on Canned Entreés

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