custom

1 of 2

noun

cus·​tom ˈkə-stəm How to pronounce custom (audio)
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 sense 4)
b
: usually habitual patrons : customers

custom

2 of 2

adjective

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Image: Voicemod Voicemod’s AI voices and real-time voice changing features will all be available, alongside buttons to launch custom soundboard audio that your friends will hear in a party chat. Tom Warren, The Verge, 18 July 2024 Given that the concert’s production elements are custom made for the tech forward venue, more dates also likely increases ROI for involved parties. Katie Bain, Billboard, 17 July 2024
Adjective
Arm Some of the best Arm processors come from companies like Apple and Qualcomm, which license Arm's processor instruction set but create their own custom or semi-custom CPU designs. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 11 July 2024 There also will be raffles, WhistlePig Whiskey merch giveaways, custom pet portraits and more. Ben Crandell, Sun Sentinel, 11 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for custom 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'custom.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Adjective

1757, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near custom

Cite this Entry

“Custom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/custom. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

custom

1 of 2 noun
cus·​tom ˈkəs-təm How to pronounce custom (audio)
1
: the usual way of doing things : the usual practice of a person or group
2
plural : duties or taxes paid on imports or exports
3
: support given a business by its customers

custom

2 of 2 adjective
1
: made or done to order
custom clothes
2
: specializing in custom work
a custom tailor

Legal Definition

custom

noun
cus·​tom
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

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