cus·​tom·​ary | \ ˈkə-stə-ˌmer-ē How to pronounce customary (audio) , -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

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Other Words from customary

customariness \ ˈkə-​stə-​ˌmer-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce customary (audio) , -​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.
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Recent Examples on the Web He wasn’t baptized as an infant, as was customary for island Christians. Andrew Porwancher, WSJ, 7 Oct. 2021 Similar conversations are customary in cases of unintended pregnancy, Thoppil said. Lauren Caruba, San Antonio Express-News, 26 Sep. 2021 The Brewers will wrap up their four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday afternoon, still looking to officially clinch the National League Central, in a broadcast that won't be on Bally Sports Wisconsin as is customary. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Sep. 2021 The winner for best musical will be announced last, as is customary., 23 Sep. 2021 As is customary, secondhand sellers greatly prefer cash, and can even sell for less if payment is made in full on the spot. Nick Sibilla, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 As is customary for returning members, House leaders credited Mfume for his previous tenure. Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2021 As is customary for returning members, House leaders credited Mfume for his previous tenure. Jeff Barker,, 23 Aug. 2021 Cruz's remarks were a stark departure from a once-customary practice of refraining from talking domestic politics while overseas, particularly about the sitting U.S. commander in chief. Laurie Kellman, Star Tribune, 31 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of customary

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for customary

see custom entry 1

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Time Traveler for customary

Time Traveler

The first known use of customary was in 1552

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Dictionary Entries Near customary



customary court

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Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Customary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce customary (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on customary

Nglish: Translation of customary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of customary for Arabic Speakers


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