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


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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 Additionally, customers traveling with Southwest are encouraged to wear personal proactive equipment, such as masks and gloves. Hearst Television, Houston Chronicle, "Man claims no social distancing enforced on packed Southwest flight," 30 Apr. 2020 Starting May 4, customers will be required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times while inside the store, according to a coronavirus response update from Costco. NBC News, "Professor tweaks snorkel mask to work as experimental protective gear for medical staff," 30 Apr. 2020 More than 250,000 customers remained without power Wednesday due to an intense line of severe thunderstorms that rolled across the south-central U.S. overnight Tuesday. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Storms bring hurricane-force winds across 500 miles in south-central US. More severe weather is on the way.," 30 Apr. 2020 Analysts who follow the software industry closely say these kinds of customer acquisition strategies have been used for years now. Lauren Goode, Wired, "3 Things to Consider Before Signing Up for a Free Trial," 30 Apr. 2020 Meanwhile, Costco is taking decisive action on how customers can shop at its stores in the future. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Coronavirus restrictions, cancellations and reopenings in Northeast Ohio for Thursday, April 30, 2020," 30 Apr. 2020 Hospitals should not be subject to the same market pressures as hair salons and coffee shops, falling apart if too few customers come in for their services. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Intolerable Fragility of American Hospitals," 30 Apr. 2020 Such programs can't save jobs that disappear due to long-term slowdowns in customer demand or to technological changes. Masha Macpherson And David Mchugh, The Christian Science Monitor, "Economics of hope: How EU keeps workers' jobs during lockdown," 30 Apr. 2020 The city of Los Angeles on April 7 began requiring both workers and customers of essential businesses to wear masks. Melissa Gomez, Los Angeles Times, "Face masks won’t be required in Ventura County, health official says," 29 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for customer

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for customer

Last Updated

3 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Customer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for customer


How to pronounce customer (audio)

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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