domesticate

To domesticate something is to tame a wild animal or plant so it can live with people. Dogs and cats are called domesticated animals because they live with us peacefully.

Nobody knows who first domesticated a wolf, but whoever it was was a very important person. If people hadn't started living with wolves, slowly domesticating them and teaching them to get along with people, wolves would never have evolved into today's dogs. We usually talk about how to domesticate animals, but wild plants can be domesticated too.

Definitions of domesticate
1

v make fit for cultivation, domestic life, and service to humans

“The horse was domesticated a long time ago”
Synonyms:
tame
domesticise, domesticize, reclaim, tame
overcome the wildness of; make docile and tractable
Type of:
accommodate, adapt
make fit for, or change to suit a new purpose

v adapt (a wild plant or unclaimed land) to the environment

domesticate oats”
Synonyms:
cultivate, naturalise, naturalize, tame
Type of:
accommodate, adapt
make fit for, or change to suit a new purpose

v overcome the wildness of; make docile and tractable

Synonyms:
domesticise, domesticize, reclaim, tame
tame
make fit for cultivation, domestic life, and service to humans
Types:
break, break in
make submissive, obedient, or useful
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.