cus·​tom·​ary | \ ˈkə-stə-ˌmer-ē, -ˌme-rē\

Definition of customary

1 : commonly practiced, used, or observed customary acts of courtesy his customary enthusiasm
2 : based on or established by custom customary laws

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from customary

customarily \ ˌkə-​stə-​ˈmer-​ə-​lē , -​ˈme-​rə-​ \ adverb
customariness \ ˈkə-​stə-​ˌmer-​ē-​nəs , -​ˌme-​rē-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for customary

usual, customary, habitual, wonted, accustomed mean familiar through frequent or regular repetition. usual stresses the absence of strangeness or unexpectedness. my usual order for lunch customary applies to what accords with the practices, conventions, or usages of an individual or community. the customary waiting period before the application is approved habitual suggests a practice settled or established by much repetition. a habitual morning routine wonted stresses habituation but usually applies to what is favored, sought, or purposefully cultivated. his wonted determination accustomed is less emphatic than wonted or habitual in suggesting fixed habit or invariable custom. accepted the compliment with her accustomed modesty

Examples of customary in a Sentence

He forgot the customary “thank you.” It is customary to hold the door open for someone who is entering a building behind you. She dressed in her customary fashion. He did the work with his customary efficiency.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The president and first lady appeared not to have followed long-running protocol in which a bow or curtsy is customary. Katie Rogers, New York Times, "From Truman to Trump, Queen Elizabeth Has Met 12 U.S. Presidents," 13 July 2018 If Kethledge is the nominee, that experience working for Congress could help in the customary courtesy visits to senators before a confirmation hearing., "Waltham native is on Trump’s short list for Supreme Court," 6 July 2018 Francis rejected his resignation, however, as is also customary, and Wuerl has served at Francis’s pleasure ever since, unable to leave his post without Francis’s permission. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Pope Francis accepted DC Archbishop Donald Wuerl’s resignation over sex abuse crisis," 12 Oct. 2018 As is now customary, the matter was destined to be decided along party lines. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "In the Eye of the Kavanaugh Storm," 21 Sep. 2018 The Education Department did not issue a response to the G.A.O. findings, as is customary, and did not respond to a request for comment on the report. Erica L. Green, New York Times, "Government Watchdog Finds Racial Bias in School Discipline," 4 Apr. 2018 And always one to celebrate her sacred heritage, as well as play up an above-the-neck color story, Chopra punctuated her customary sindoor and intricate mehndi with complementary punchy hues on the eyes, cheeks, and most strikingly, the lips. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra Plays Up Her Post-Wedding Glow—and Bridal Henna—With This Makeup Trick," 5 Dec. 2018 Clearly, the practice is customary in the Beckham household. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Tom Brady Defends David Beckham After He Gets Slammed for Kissing Daughter," 28 Nov. 2018 The images show the couple's Mehendi ceremony, a pre-wedding ritual customary for Indian weddings, where henna is applied to the bride's hands and feet. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Deepika Padukone Shares Gorgeous New Photos from Her Wedding to Ranveer Singh," 20 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of customary

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for customary

see custom entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about customary

Statistics for customary

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for customary

The first known use of customary was in 1552

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for customary



English Language Learners Definition of customary

: usually done in a particular situation or at a particular place or time

: usual or typical of a particular person


cus·​tom·​ary | \ ˈkə-stə-ˌmer-ē \

Kids Definition of customary

1 : usual in a particular situation or at a particular place or time Throwing a … net was the customary method of capture.— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
2 : typical of a particular person She answered with her customary cheerfulness.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on customary

What made you want to look up customary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!