1

custom

play
noun cus·tom \ ˈkə-stəm \

Definition of custom

1 a :a usage or practice common to many or to a particular place or class or habitual with an individual
  • It is the custom in New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras.
  • funeral customs
b :long-established practice considered as unwritten law
c :repeated practice
  • Custom makes all things easy.
d :the whole body of usages, practices, or conventions that regulate social life
  • … family, kinship, and custom constituted the grounds of community.
  • —V. B. Leitch
2 customs plural
a :duties, tolls, or imposts imposed by the sovereign law of a country on imports or exports
b usually singular in construction :the agency, establishment, or procedure for collecting such customs
  • went through customs at the airport without any difficulty
3 a :business patronage (see patronage 4)
b :usually habitual patrons :customers

Examples of custom in a Sentence

  1. It is the custom for the bride to wear a white dress on her wedding day.

  2. According to custom, the festivities begin at dusk.

  3. It's a matter of custom.

  4. We went through customs at the airport without any difficulty.

  5. It took us a long time to clear customs at the border.

Origin and Etymology of custom

Middle English custume, from Anglo-French, from Latin consuetudin-, consuetudo, from consuescere to accustom, from com- + suescere to accustom; akin to suus one's own — more at suicide

Synonym Discussion of custom

habit, practice, usage, custom, wont mean a way of acting fixed through repetition. habit implies a doing unconsciously and often compulsively.
    • had a habit of tapping his fingers
practice suggests an act or method followed with regularity and usually through choice.
    • our practice is to honor all major credit cards
usage suggests a customary action so generally followed that it has become a social norm.
    • western-style dress is now common usage in international business
custom applies to a practice or usage so steadily associated with an individual or group as to have almost the force of unwritten law.
    • the custom of wearing black at funerals
wont usually applies to a habitual manner, method, or practice of an individual or group.
    • as was her wont, she slept until noon

2

custom

adjective

Definition of custom

1 :made or performed according to personal order
2 :specializing in custom work or operation
  • a custom tailor

Examples of custom in a Sentence

  1. The new kitchen will have custom cabinets.

  2. that business tycoon wears only custom suits

Recent Examples of custom from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of custom


CUSTOM Defined for English Language Learners

custom

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noun

Definition of custom for English Language Learners

  • : an action or way of behaving that is usual and traditional among the people in a particular group or place

  • : something that is done regularly by a person

  • customs : taxes or fees that are paid to the government when goods come into or go out of a country


custom

adjective

Definition of custom for English Language Learners

  • : made to fit the needs or requirements of a particular person

  • : doing work that fits the needs or requirements of a particular person


CUSTOM Defined for Kids

1

custom

play
noun cus·tom \ ˈkə-stəm \

Definition of custom for Students

1 :the usual way of doing things :the usual practice
2 customs plural :duties or taxes paid on imports or exports
3 :support given to a business by its customers
  • Buyers grew tired of waiting … and … took their custom elsewhere.
  • —Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard

2

custom

adjective

Definition of custom for Students

1 :made or done to personal order
  • custom furniture
2 :specializing in work done to personal order
  • a custom printer

Headscratcher for custom

Custom means the usual way of doing things, but custom can also mean that something has been made according to a special order.


Law Dictionary

custom

noun cus·tom

legal Definition of custom

1 :a practice common to many or to a particular place or institution; especially :a long-established practice that is generally recognized as having the force of law — see also section 1983 — compare usage
2 plural
a :duties, tolls, or imposts imposed by the law of a country on imports or exports
b usually singular in construction :the agency, establishment, or procedure for collecting such customs


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