Etymology
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tame (adj.)

early Middle English tame "in a state of subjection, physically subdued, restrained in behavior" (c. 1200); of animals "domesticated, reclaimed from wildness," also, of persons, "meek, gentle-natured, compliant, intent on homely or domestic activities" (mid-13c.), from oblique forms of Old English tom, tam "domesticated, docile."

This is reconstructed to be from Proto-Germanic *tamaz (source also of Old Norse tamr, Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch tam, Old High German zam, German zahm "tame," Gothic tamjan "to tame").

This in turn is said to be from PIE *deme- "to constrain, to force, to break (horses)" (source also of Sanskrit damayati "tames;" Persian dam "a tame animal;" Greek daman "to tame, subdue," dmetos "tame;" Latin domare "to tame, subdue;" Old Irish damnaim "I tie up, fasten, I tame, subdue"). A possible ulterior connection is with PIE *dem- "house, household" (see domestic (adj.)).

Gentle animals are the naturally docile; tame animals are made so by the art of man. The dog, the sheep, are gentle animals ; the wolf, the bear, are sometimes tame. [William Taylor Jr., "English Synonyms Discriminated," London: 1813]

The meaning "spiritless, weak, dull, uninspiring, insipid" is recorded from c. 1600. Related: Tamely; tameness.

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tame (v.)
mid-14c., from tame (adj.), or altered by the form of the adjective from Old English temian "subdue, make tame," from Proto-Germanic *tamjan- (source also of Old Norse temja, Old Frisian tema, Middle Dutch temmen, Old High German zemmen, German zähmen, Gothic tamjan). Related: Tamed; taming.
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domitable (adj.)

"capable of being tamed," 1670s, a rare word, from Latin *domitabilis, from domitare, frequentative of domare "to tame" (see tame (adj.)).

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untamed (adj.)
mid-14c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of tame (v.). Similar formation in Old English untemed, Old Norse utamdr, Old High German ungizamot.
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indomitable (adj.)
1630s, "that cannot be tamed or subdued," from Late Latin indomitabilis "untameable," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + *domitabilis, from Latin domitare, frequentative of domare "to tame" (see tame (adj.)). In reference to persons or personal qualities, "unyielding, persistent, resolute," by 1830. Related: Indomitably.
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daunt (v.)

c. 1300, "to vanquish, subdue, conquer," from Old French danter, variant of donter (12c., Modern French dompter) "be afraid of, fear, doubt; control, restrain," from Latin domitare, frequentative of domare "to tame" (see tame (v.)). Sense of "to intimidate, subdue the courage of" is from late 15c. Related: Daunted; daunting.

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adamant (n.)
Old English aðamans "a very hard stone;" the modern word is a mid-14c. borrowing of Old French adamant "diamond; magnet" or directly from Latin adamantem (nominative adamas) "adamant, hardest iron, steel," also used figuratively, of character, from Greek adamas (genitive adamantos), name of a hypothetical hardest material, noun use of an adjective meaning "unbreakable, inflexible," which was metaphoric of anything unalterable (such as Hades), a word of uncertain origin.

It is perhaps literally "invincible, indomitable," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + daman "to conquer, to tame," from PIE root *deme- "to constrain, force, break (horses)" (see tame (adj.)). "But semantically, the etymology is rather strange," according to Beekes, who suggests it might be a foreign word altered in Greek by folk etymology, and compares Akkadian (Semitic) adamu.

Applied in antiquity to a metal resembling gold (Plato), white sapphire (Pliny), magnet (Ovid, perhaps through confusion with Latin adamare "to love passionately"), steel, emery stone, and especially diamond, which is a variant of this word. "The name has thus always been of indefinite and fluctuating sense" [Century Dictionary].
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domesticate (v.)

1630s (implied in domesticated), of animals, "convert to domestic use, tame, bring under control or cultivation;" 1741, of persons, "to cause to be attached to home and family, accustom to remain much at home;" from Medieval Latin domesticatus, past participle of domesticare "to tame," literally "to dwell in a house," from Latin domesticus "belonging to the household," from domus "house," from PIE *dom-o- "house," from root *dem- "house, household." Related: Domesticating.

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mastiff (n.)

large, powerful breed of dog, apparently dating to ancient times, valued as a watch-dog, mid-14c., from Old French mastin "great cur, mastiff" (Modern French mâtin) or Provençal mastis, both of which probably are from Vulgar Latin *mansuetinus "domesticated, tame," from Latin mansuetus "tame, gentle" (see mansuetude). The etymological sense, then, would be a dog that stays in the house, thus a guard-dog or watchdog. The form in English perhaps was influenced by Old French mestif "mongrel."

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ferret (v.)

early 15c., "hunt with a ferret," from ferret (n.) or from Old French verb fureter, in reference to the use of half-tame ferrets to kill rats and flush rabbits from burrows. The extended sense of "search out, discover," especially by perseverance and cunning, usually with out (adv.), is from 1570s. Related: Ferreted; ferreting.

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