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Domestic is a must-know word for any number of subjects from history to economics. It's an adjective, used to describe what goes on in individual households or families (See sentences 1, 3 and 4). It can also be used to describe a country's internal—as opposed to foreign—affairs (See sentence 2). When applied to animals, it means they are tame. They are capable of living with or close to human homes (See sentence 5).
*Harriet Beecher Stowe insisted that God wrote her famous novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, which turned many members of the reading public against the institution of slavery.
Memory Pegs. The word domestic is derived from the Latin word domus meaning "house." Tell yourself that the words house and homeland are at the heart of the word domestic. Perhaps link the word to images of a house and a map of your own country.
Specialized Use in Economics or Business. In the term Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the word domestic is used to describe an entire country or homeland rather than an individual house. The GDP identifies the market value of a nation's total output of goods and services. It measures how much is produced in a single country. In 2008, the United States had a GDP of over thirteen hundred billion dollars. The size of the GDP is said to be a good indicator of a country's economic health.
Specialized Use in History. If you study American history, you are likely to learn about the cult of domesticity, which defined the role of women in the nineteenth century. According to the cult of domesticity, true women stayed in the house and confined themselves to the roles of wife and mother. Needless to say, the cult only applied to middle- or upper-class women, who could afford to stay home.
1. Given what you know about the word domestic, which of these sentences uses it correctly?
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Last update of this page: March 22, 2014