cus·​tom·​er | \ˈkə-stə-mər \

Definition of customer 

1 : one that purchases a commodity or service The customer used a credit card for the purchase.

2 : an individual usually having some specified distinctive trait a real tough customer … let me give you the advice of an old and world-weary customer.— Flannery O'Connor

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Examples of customer in a Sentence

She is one of our best customers. She's a pretty cool customer.

Recent Examples on the Web

Many of my customers are the local gigging musicians who play just about every weekend during the summer. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "Down to Business: Making sweet music with guitars," 13 July 2018 Is there any reason to mandate tariffs immediately without major efforts to negotiate fair and equitable trade relations with our best customers and our allies? Phillip Molnar,, "Can the U.S. economy withstand a trade war?," 13 July 2018 At the same time, the company’s plan could cause addition challenges for its disabled customers. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "Critics of Starbucks’ Straw Ban Are Missing the Point," 12 July 2018 Connecticut Water, which serves 450,000 customers in Connecticut and Maine, announced in March a merger with SJW Group, a San Jose, Calif., company. Stephen Singer,, "Connecticut Water: Eversource Pushes 'Misinformation Campaign' In Purchase Attempt," 13 July 2018 And customers who take delivery of their cars between July 1st and December 31st, 2019, will be offered just $1,875. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla will be the first automaker to lose the federal tax credit for electric cars," 12 July 2018 Wright posted online prostitution advertisements for the girls and provided her phone number to arrange meetings between the girls and customers, the release states. Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "A Charlotte couple forced girls into prostitution to raise bond money, officials say," 11 July 2018 When the staff was busy serving other customers, one man acts as a lookout while the other is seen reaching over the counter and removing from the display case a tray of rings worth $45,566, police said. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Thieves steal diamond rings worth $45,000, police say," 11 July 2018 Among Devumi’s customers: Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; Randy Bryce, Democratic candidate for Congress in Wisconsin; and Kathy Ireland, former model and licensing entrepreneur. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Twitter’s wiping tens of millions of accounts from its platform," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'customer.' 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 customer

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for customer

Middle English custumer, from custume — see custom entry 1

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Learn More about customer

Statistics for customer

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for customer

The first known use of customer was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for customer



English Language Learners Definition of customer

: someone who buys goods or services from a business

: a person who has a particular quality


cus·​tom·​er | \ˈkə-stə-mər \

Kids Definition of customer

: a person who buys from or uses the services of a company especially regularly



Legal Definition of customer 

1 : a person or business that purchases a commodity or service

2a : a person or entity having an account with a bank or on whose behalf the bank has agreed to collect items

b : a person or entity for whom an issuer issues a letter of credit

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Comments on customer

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


to express warning or disapproval

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