custom

noun
cus·​tom | \ˈkə-stəm \

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

custom

adjective

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

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Choose the Right Synonym for custom

Noun

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As is custom, Ayako, who is the daughter of the cousin of the emperor, had to give up her royal status in order to marry for love. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Princess Ayako of Japan Gives Up Her Royal Title in Wedding to Commoner Kei Moriya," 29 Oct. 2018 Fans can get their hands on everything from jewelry to bags to shoes, and even some custom and one-of-a-kind outfits. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Ebay’s “Fall Stylist Sale” Includes Items Worn By Celebrities Like Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber, Lorde, and Beyoncé," 25 Sep. 2018 Your ongoing travel info, your hotel directions, your landing cards for customs, etc. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "How to Function After a Red-Eye Flight, According to 21 Seasoned Travelers," 16 Aug. 2018 The code, approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942, confirmed existing customs and rules governing the display and use of the flag of the United States by civilians. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Fourth of July: Are you violating US flag code? Probably," 4 July 2018 In Equateur Province, the Red Cross has launched a team to help conduct burials for those dying of the Ebola virus that are safe but still include some local rituals and customs, such as prayer and sprinkling the body with blessed water. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "Detective work, cultural awareness are key to fighting Ebola," 5 June 2018 But the equilibrium has been restored, at least for now: The winners will each receive a $25,000 prize, as usual, and they will be celebrated according to custom in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center on April 15. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "National Endowment for the Arts Names New Class of Jazz Masters," 11 July 2018 Middleton stepped out in a custom Alessandra Rich pleated dress with waist band and white collar. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Wears Baby Blue Dress for Her Nephew's Christening," 9 July 2018 Hundreds of people stuck in tight hallways trying to go through customs at #ATL. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "Long lines at Customs frustrate travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In the backyard, Arne Jacobsen wicker chairs from Sika Design and a side table from JF Chen; custom fireplace screen, Studio Forge. Jenni Konner, ELLE Decor, "Jewelry Designer Irene Neuwirth Takes Us Inside Her Eclectic Los Angeles Home," 13 July 2018 AUTO Show off your classic, antique or custom car at On the Edge Bar and Grill, 6815 W. Edgerton Ave. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "21 Things-to-do in the southwest suburbs in July," 29 June 2018 The kitchen is equipped with a custom steel island on casters, made by Michael Daniel Metal Design, so it can be rolled out to the deck and used as a buffet for outdoor dinners. Tim Mckeough, New York Times, "A Shipshape House in the Hamptons," 19 June 2018 For YouTube creators, catching the eyes of potential new viewers starts with a good, custom thumbnail. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "YouTube kills some creators’ custom-made thumbnail images in latest experiment," 28 June 2018 Geff worked in the automotive business, specializing in custom auto body and repair. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Geoffrey S. Grocki," 3 June 2018 Gerde is currently working on a book about minimalist living and home-schools their son, so custom workspace and storage were built-in to tuck their school supplies away after-hours. Rachel Raczk, chicagotribune.com, "How do couples live in tiny homes without killing each other?," 17 May 2017 The parade will include custom bike builders, stunt teams, charitable groups and HOG chapters, as well as a few surprise guests. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 picks for Harley’s 115th Labor Day anniversary," 19 June 2018 The Golden Knights set team records for merchandise sales at Games 1 and 2 of the Cup Final, according to Rank + Rally, a company that creates custom merchandise and retail experiences for fans. Helene Elliott, latimes.com, "Capitals don't offer much of an update on Evegeny Kuznetsov's status for Game 3 of Stanley Cup Final," 1 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of custom

Noun

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

Adjective

1757, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for custom

Noun

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

Adjective

see custom entry 1

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Statistics for custom

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for custom

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

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More Definitions for custom

custom

noun

English Language Learners Definition of custom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of custom (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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

custom

noun
cus·​tom | \ˈkə-stəm \

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

custom

adjective

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

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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Comments on custom

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