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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Darker shoes represent inclusion in classical ballet Pointe shoes are typically pink to match the pink tights customary in ballet productions. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Ballet has long excluded dancers of color. A broader range of “nude” pointe shoes signal change.," 9 Nov. 2018 Marvel’s sketches for the film were less puerile but wholly impressionistic, and so Carter began her customary deep dive. Rob Haskell, WSJ, "In ‘Black Panther,’ Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter Found a Career-Defining Challenge," 1 Nov. 2018 And Buehler was still in the game because Roberts attempted to get some extra innings from his young starter instead of employing his customary quick hook. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "Grandal’s woes, quiet LA bats doom Dodgers in NLCS Game 3," 15 Oct. 2018 For the couple's evening wedding reception, Princess Eugenie opted for a custom gown by an American designer, Zac Posen—a surprising choice, given it's customary for British royals to wear British designers for such occasions. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Princess Eugenie Broke Royal Tradition With Her Second Wedding Dress," 13 Oct. 2018 Here are closeups of Diana's and Fergie's rings, respectively, for comparison: Getty Images Is this style of engagement ring just customary for the royal family? Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Why Princess Eugenie and Kate Middleton's Engagement Rings Look So Similar," 7 Oct. 2018 In other words, all of the customary issues that could imperil a lot of politicians don’t seem to affect Trump. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Storm clouds gather for GOP as midterms approach – but forecast isn’t clear," 22 Aug. 2018 Shoppers, however, always asked for a tad more, lecturing me that the gesture had been customary in the golden age of pre-Castro Cuba sales. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "South Miami-Dade leaders are right: If they settle for buses, they’ll never get rail," 6 July 2018 As a result, some tribes have revived the customary, precolonial practice of banishment and exclusion to forbid convicted drug dealers from entering and inhabiting their lands. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Native American Tribes Are Suing the Opioid Industry As People Continue to Die," 13 Apr. 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.

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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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Statistics for customary

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for customary

The first known use of customary was in 1552

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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.

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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).


playful or foolish behavior

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