cus·​tom·​er | \ ˈkə-stə-mər How to pronounce customer (audio) \

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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Synonyms for customer


account, client, guest, patron, punter [chiefly British]

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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

Wall Street firms have long argued that the rule went too far in that effort, limiting activities that are legitimately aimed at facilitating buying and selling illiquid bonds for customers or hedging the bank’s own risk. Los Angeles Times, "Volcker rule finally gets revised, but Wall Street is different now," 20 Aug. 2019 Lingg said the damages payment sought by Lyon would devastate the electric cooperative, which provides power for rural customers. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Washington firefighter badly burned in 2015 Twisp River fire now fighting law that won’t let him collect damages," 19 Aug. 2019 At a rental car office, meanwhile, check if there’s a separate line for customers with disabilities. Julia Buckley, Condé Nast Traveler, "How I Travel With My Invisible Disability," 19 Aug. 2019 Reuters and The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House was planning to announce on Monday a 90-day extension to a license allowing Huawei to provide service for U.S. customers. Fox News, "Trump warns China against 'another Tiananmen Square,' says Tim Cook made 'compelling' tariff case," 18 Aug. 2019 The company is offering upgrades to the newer model for customers who bought the old version from July 17th going forward (when Nintendo announced the new model), according to a report from Polygon, which confirmed Nintendo is performing the swaps. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "If you’ve bought a Nintendo Switch since July 17th, you might be able to upgrade for free," 16 Aug. 2019 However, volunteers are available to shop for customers who cannot enter the market. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Everything you need to know about Kroger's mobile grocery store in Louisville," 15 Aug. 2019 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also filed a civil suit against Aliera in June and his office remains in settlement negotiations with the company to potentially recover losses for Texas customers. Jenny Deam, Houston Chronicle, "Colorado becomes fourth state to take action against Aliera," 14 Aug. 2019 An exclusive seating area for Tepeyac customers is decorated in red, white and green — like the Mexican flag — and a a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe, an important symbol in Mexican culture, is mounted in the wall. Camila Vallejo,, "El Mercado’s food court: A hidden gem with Colombian, Dominican, Peruvian and Mexican fare," 14 Aug. 2019

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

24 Aug 2019

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
informal : a person who has a particular quality


cus·​tom·​er | \ ˈkə-stə-mər How to pronounce customer (audio) \

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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