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. verb
    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
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    type of:
    accommodate, adapt
    make fit for, or change to suit a new purpose
  2. verb
    adapt (a wild plant or unclaimed land) to the environment
    domesticate oats”
    synonyms: cultivate, naturalise, naturalize, tame
    see moresee less
    type of:
    accommodate, adapt
    make fit for, or change to suit a new purpose
  3. verb
    overcome the wildness of; make docile and tractable
    synonyms: domesticise, domesticize, reclaim, tame
    tame
    make fit for cultivation, domestic life, and service to humans
    see moresee less
    types:
    break, break in
    make submissive, obedient, or useful
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
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