cus·​to·​di·​al | \ ˌkə-ˈstō-dē-əl How to pronounce custodial (audio) \

Definition of custodial

1a : relating to guardianship
b : relating to, providing, or being protective care or services for basic needs nursing and custodial care
2 : having sole or primary custody of a child the custodial parent

Examples of custodial in a Sentence

Her mother is the custodial parent.
Recent Examples on the Web Clinics will be open to professional child care providers, bus drivers, teachers, paraeducators, custodial staff, food service workers, classroom volunteers, school administrative staff and others who work in school buildings. Stephen Singer,, "Connecticut residents 55 and older, teachers and child care providers can get the coronavirus vaccine starting Today. Here’s what you need to know.," 1 Mar. 2021 As Elvina Nawaguna and Kayla Epstein noted for Business Insider in January, a custodial staff comprised mostly of people of color was tasked with cleaning up the mess left behind by the overwhelmingly white rioters. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Curators Seek $25,000 to Repair Artworks Damaged in U.S. Capitol Attack," 27 Feb. 2021 Tony Dewright Payne, 28, was found lying in the middle of a street April 11, according to a custodial death report. Dana Branham, Dallas News, "Dallas police release bodycam video after 35-year-old man dies in officers’ custody," 6 Dec. 2020 Ambler died of congestive heart failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease associated with morbid obesity, in combination with forcible restraint, according to a custodial death report filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office. NBC News, "Texas sheriff who starred on 'Live PD' charged with evidence tampering in Black man's death," 28 Sep. 2020 The shortages are affecting not just teachers but also transportation and custodial staff, The Portland Press Herald reports. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Transit memorial, pen pals, White House doctor: News from around our 50 states," 26 Jan. 2021 One of the last of her siblings to have still been here, who survived American hatred and terror, gone cruelly and quickly in a COVID-19-infested hospital, filled with exhausted doctors and nurses and custodial staff. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Commentary: Amanda Gorman, my grandma and the Black tears we cried," 21 Jan. 2021 The photos taken of the custodial staff in the hours after the Capitol came under siege are some of the most powerful images from that day. Washington Post, "People are sending thank you cards to the Capitol’s cleaning crew. They deserve our gratitude. They also deserve this.," 16 Jan. 2021 Nearly 600 hospital staffers, including doctors, X-ray technicians and custodial workers, were vaccinated Friday morning. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, "COVID-19 spreading with astonishing speed — 100,000 new cases in L.A. County in little more than a week," 19 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'custodial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of custodial

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for custodial

Time Traveler

The first known use of custodial was in 1678

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Statistics for custodial

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Custodial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for custodial



English Language Learners Definition of custodial

law : having the responsibility for taking care of a child : having custody of a child
US : relating to the care of a building, equipment, or land
British, law : involving punishment that requires a criminal to spend time in a prison


cus·​to·​di·​al | \ ˌkəs-ˈtōd-ē-əl How to pronounce custodial (audio) \

Medical Definition of custodial

1 : relating to, providing, or being protective care or services for basic needs nursing and custodial care
2 : having sole or primary custody of a child the custodial parent


cus·​to·​di·​al | \ kə-ˈstō-dē-əl How to pronounce custodial (audio) \

Legal Definition of custodial

1 : occurring during or in connection with custody a custodial interrogation
2 : having sole custody or custody a greater portion of the time a custodial parent

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