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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for customer


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of customer in a Sentence

She is one of our best customers. She's a pretty cool customer.
Recent Examples on the Web Misfits grew its customer base and order volume by five times in 2020, a year ravaged by the pandemic, the company said. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Grocery startup Misfits Market reportedly raises total valuation to $1.1B," 24 Apr. 2021 Second, the decision makers need to reflect the growth of the customer base, so that there is diversity on the boards, and the C-suite becomes more diverse. New York Times, "N.A.A.C.P. Leader Says ‘a Few Checks’ Can’t Fix Structural Racism," 23 Apr. 2021 Frohnmayer believes his three-wheeled electric vehicles will attract a wide customer base as the price point comes down, helping to lower carbon emissions and right-size the footprint of everyday travel. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Oregon electric vehicle startup’s decision to go public sent it on a wild ride," 22 Apr. 2021 In the five years since its founding, Medchart has grown its customer base to more than 2,500 health care providers and pharmacies that use it to release records electronically. Paul O'donnell, Dallas News, "Medical records retrieval firm lands $17 million to expand staff, speed innovation," 22 Apr. 2021 Wayfair’s customer base is also highly loyal and should stick with the company post-Covid. Trefis Team, Forbes, "What’s Happening With Wayfair Stock?," 21 Apr. 2021 First Photo has maintained a loyal customer base for professional prints and gallery wraps throughout its years, including moms documenting family life, nature photographers and camera buffs. Jana Hollingsworth, Star Tribune, "Duluth camera and print shop First Photo to close after 28 years," 21 Apr. 2021 That number includes up to 3,000 Popshelf stores that target wealthier shoppers than the company's core customer base. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, "Dollar General will hire 20,000 workers," 14 Apr. 2021 Getting access to that big customer base is a key goal of the Microsoft acquisition., "After the Nuance deal, what’s next for voice recognition tech?," 14 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about customer

Time Traveler for customer

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for customer

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Customer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!