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

Here are the top airlines for handling customer complaints. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "The best — and worst — airports in the world, according to Fodor's Travel," 12 June 2019 Still, all malls are facing the reality that online shopping continues to attract more customers. Dan Mcgowan,, "Providence Place: With 150 stores, it’s trying to figure out what’s next in a rocky retail climate," 11 June 2019 The event allows customers to pay their age for most stuffed animals in the workshop with a $1 minimum requirement, according to Build-A-Bear's website. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "After last year's mess, Build-A-Bear's 'Pay Your Age' event is back - with restrictions," 11 June 2019 Democrats have grown frustrated with the company’s role in spreading misinformation and mishandling of customer data. Tal Kopan,, "Facebook’s Zuckerberg reached out to Pelosi over doctored video," 11 June 2019 In March, an undercover ATF sting made news in Richmond, Calif., for other reasons: when a gun-buying deal went bad and agents shot a suspect in the parking lot of a restaurant, sending customers diving for cover. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "ATF's Milwaukee sting operation was marred by mistakes, failures," 11 June 2019 Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost last week announced the indictment of John Drennan, accusing him of taking $213,000 from customers in three states and failing to deliver promised services or refunds. Kevin Grasha,, "Sharonville owner of Basement Boost 'in the business of deception,' says Ohio AG Yost," 11 June 2019 Two following shots were fired as Guttieres was running toward a Burger King, which had customers inside, and Krieger feared Guttieres may take a hostage. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Aurora officer who fired four shots at fleeing suspect cleared of criminal charges," 11 June 2019 Gregory said all 220,000 residential customers in unincorporated Orange County will get a door hanger. Stephen Hudak,, "Recycling plastic grocery bags? It’s ‘a waste of effort,’ Orange County says," 11 June 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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Statistics for customer

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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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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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 move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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