cus·​to·​di·​an | \ ˌkə-ˈstō-dē-ən How to pronounce custodian (audio) \

Definition of custodian

: one that guards and protects or maintains especially : one entrusted with guarding and keeping property or records or with custody or guardianship of prisoners or inmates

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Other Words from custodian

custodianship \ ˌkə-​ˈstō-​dē-​ən-​ˌship How to pronounce custodianship (audio) \ noun

Examples of custodian in a Sentence

the custodian made his usual rounds of the building to make sure that everything was OK served as custodian of the prisoner until he could be turned over to federal authorities
Recent Examples on the Web As a foster mom, Herring ran a home daycare for local families and worked as a night custodian in a nearby high school. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Iowa woman who fostered more than 600 children says she loved them 'like they were my own'," 11 Jan. 2020 Burgos toots a friendly honk as Wade exits his stop on International Drive, grabs his yellow bike from the front of the bus and pedals away to his new job as a custodian at the Orange County Convention Center. Gabrielle Russon,, "It takes her 3 hours to travel 15 miles by bus. Orlando’s public transit is failing workers," 12 Dec. 2019 But the unveiling of Trump’s plan presents a dead end for Abbas, whose primary role is that of the custodian of a moribund peace process that was supposed to lead to a two-state solution. Washington Post, "Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ is no deal at all," 29 Jan. 2020 Worse, the custodian has of late been locking the bathrooms for two and a half hours of the school day for reasons that are unclear to her and her peers., "Eleven-year-old Louisiana vividly remembers sitting in her fourth-grade math class one afternoon two years ago, rocking back and forth and shaking one leg. She needed to distract her mind from her uncomfortably full bladder. It had been hours since she’d gone.," 8 Dec. 2019 In this opaque market, Cerulli estimates Schwab is the largest custodian with $1.55 trillion in advisory assets, followed by Fidelity with $932 billion, TD Ameritrade with $506 billion and Pershing with $219 billion. Kathleen Pender,, "Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade deal shows need for brokers to bulk up," 25 Nov. 2019 Khin Swe Oo, the custodian of the most prominent nat shrine in Taung Pyone, says that shouting, threats and physical destruction of holy objects have occurred every year for the past five years. The Economist, "Monks in Myanmar have a new target," 14 Nov. 2019 The acquisition makes Google the custodian of reams of people’s health and wellness data that’s been collected by Fitbit. Megan Thielking, STAT, "Google to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion in major health tech deal," 1 Nov. 2019 Hearing nothing, the Camera followed up with an email on June 12, and then received a response from the regents’ custodian of records the following day, denying the reporter’s May 24 request. Charlie Brennan, The Denver Post, "Daily Camera sues CU regents over presidential search transparency," 30 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'custodian.' 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 custodian

1602, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for custodian

Time Traveler

The first known use of custodian was in 1602

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Statistics for custodian

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Custodian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for custodian



Financial Definition of custodian

What It Is

A custodian is an institution or individual that can act as an agent and exercise legal authority over the financial assets of another individual or company.

How It Works

A custodian typically handles a variety of activities, including physically holding equities and bonds, settling purchases and sales, reporting the status of assets, tax compliance and reporting, and management of the client's accounts and transactions.

For example, a bank may act as a custodian for a customer's investment activities, moving funds into brokerage accounts, researching investment alternatives such as companies and funds which might be appropriate investment targets, instructing brokers to buy or sell securities, monitoring the investment activities within the account, and reporting account activity to the owner.  The custodian may also prepare the necessary tax filings on behalf of the owner, based on the activities within the account.

Custodians may be appointed to hold control of assets of a minor or an incapacitated adult.  An adult with legal status may act as the custodian for the accounts of a minor. For example, a common tax strategy is to give a financial gift to a minor when their tax rate is lowest.  Under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA), an adult or parent establishes the account on behalf of the minor and serves as custodian, maintaining the legal authority and direction over the custodial account.  When the minor becomes an adult, the custodian relinquishes his or her authority over the account.

The custodian role is often held by banks, law firms, or accounting firms which usually carry additional fees for the services.

Why It Matters

Custodian services are generally useful for absentee owners (i.e. owners who are not interested or able to be involved in the day-to-day management activities of their accounts), as well as complex transactions, management of substantial assets, timely reporting and compliance, and tax management strategies.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce custodian (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of custodian

formal : someone who keeps and protects something valuable for another person
US : a person who cleans and takes care of a building


cus·​to·​di·​an | \ ˌkə-ˈstō-dē-ən How to pronounce custodian (audio) \

Kids Definition of custodian

: a person who guards and protects or takes care of the school custodian

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Legal Definition of custodian

: an individual entrusted with guarding and keeping property or having custody of a person: as
a : the warden of a prison
b : a person given custody of a child by court order
c : a person named to manage a child's property under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act
d : a person or entity appointed by a bankruptcy court to take charge of the debtor's property for purposes of administration

Other Words from custodian

custodianship noun

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