cus·​tom | \ ˈkə-stəm How to pronounce custom (audio) \

Definition of custom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
3a : business patronage (see patronage sense 4)
b : usually habitual patrons : customers



Definition of custom (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of custom in a Sentence

Noun It is the custom for the bride to wear a white dress on her wedding day. According to custom, the festivities begin at dusk. It's a matter of custom. We went through customs at the airport without any difficulty. It took us a long time to clear customs at the border. Adjective The new kitchen will have custom cabinets. that business tycoon wears only custom suits See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The sconces are from Liza Sherman Antiques and the sink is custom-made. Kelsey Mulvey, ELLE Decor, 3 May 2022 The elegant rooms that span seven different categories are decorated with vintage, antique, and custom-made furnishings making no two alike. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 25 Apr. 2022 The restorers can have window gaskets custom-made because cost is no object, Robert. Ray Magliozzi, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 The slogan, an obvious riff on the Gray Lady’s 19th-century retort to yellow journalism, seems custom-made for Olumide Shokunbi and Spice Kitchen. Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2022 In her tuxedo jacket and itty-bitty hot pants —custom-made by Chanel—Kristen Stewart is undoubtedly wearing one of the most talked about looks of Oscars night. Rachel Tashjian, Harper's BAZAAR, 27 Mar. 2022 Born and raised in central Alberta, Forsland, a master carpenter, has spent most of his life building things, ranging from custom furniture and houses to skateboards and surfboards. Jeff Campagna, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Apr. 2022 Beauty director Sara Tan’s dress was not only custom-made but also Britney Spears-inspired(!). Frances Solá-santiago,, 7 Mar. 2022 The rooms have oak floors and custom furniture, and 82 of them also feature balconies with views of the surrounding mountains and river. Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, 4 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective SoCal custom-ish paint scheme keep the visuals fun. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, 15 Apr. 2022 Making anything custom to me these days definitely feels more ecological and more personal. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, 14 Mar. 2022 Enjoy everything from custom street tacos to funnel cakes and listen to music by Erick y su Grupo Massore and La Tropa Estrella. Austin Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Mar. 2022 Privateer could launch its own, custom Pono satellites in the years to come as needed, to fill in any blind spots, Fielding said. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 1 Mar. 2022 Currently delighting onlookers with her outré maternity style, Rihanna went for the most daring incarnation of the trend arriving at a celebration for her Fenty beauty brands in a custom two-piece from The Attico. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 14 Feb. 2022 With Boa’s lacing system to ratchet-in a semi-custom, comfortable and secure fit, the Terrex Two’s new upper and outsole really shines, especially on challenging, sloppy terrain where the grippy outsole provides sure-footed control. Adam Chase, Outside Online, 5 June 2020 After the first quarter, athletes including Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker, Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart were honored with custom letterman-style jackets, all of which featured patches highlighting their careers. Lindsay Kimble,, 11 Oct. 2021 Inside the units, there will be light wood plank tile flooring, kitchens with custom Italian cabinetry, Bosch appliances, and oversized bathrooms with double-suite rain showers and stone vanities. Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, 1 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of custom


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1757, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for custom

Noun and Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for custom

Time Traveler

The first known use of custom was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near custom

custody battle



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Statistics for custom

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Custom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for custom


cus·​tom | \ ˈkə-stəm How to pronounce custom (audio) \

Kids Definition of custom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Kids Definition of custom (Entry 2 of 2)

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



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

More from Merriam-Webster on custom

Nglish: Translation of custom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of custom for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about custom


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