Definition of custom in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkəstəm/


1A traditional and widely accepted way of behaving or doing something that is specific to a particular society, place, or time: the old English custom of dancing around the maypole custom demanded that a person should have gifts for the child
More example sentences
  • Their traditions and customs have not been widely spread nor preserved.
  • All that have specific traditions and customs, folklore, cuisine, and dress and may speak a different language.
  • I particularly enjoyed the depiction of old military traditions and customs.
tradition, practice, usage, observance, way, convention, formality, ceremony, ritual;
sacred cow, unwritten rule;
formal praxis
1.1 [in singular] A thing that one does habitually: it was my custom to nap for an hour every day
More example sentences
  • It wasn't the normal custom within Ryder, and it shook things up right away.
  • These net deficits are easily offset by the increased custom among those who visit just once a week, the survey's authors say.
  • That, and the fact that her SAC compartment was separated from everyone else's as was the custom for dignitaries visiting aboard a star cruiser.
habit, practice, routine, way, wont;
policy, rule
1.2 Law Established practice or usage having the force of law or right.
Example sentences
  • Laws against adultery are a natural outgrowth of laws and customs insisting that marriages be monogamous.
  • The Board shall make its decision with regard to the custom and usage of the insurance and reinsurance business.
  • But by long established custom, such exculpatory statements are also admitted into evidence.
2chiefly British Regular dealings with a shop or business by customers: if you keep me waiting, I will take my custom elsewhere
More example sentences
  • It added that they helped regeneration, keeping schools open and providing custom to shops.
  • Management at The Riverside Hotel, Sligo remain vigilant in securing trade or group tour business and Irish custom has compensated any tourist loss.
  • Collectively though, these blue chip stalwarts with their predictable, regular custom should not disappoint at current prices.


North American
Made or done to order for a particular customer: a custom guitar
More example sentences
  • Since construction sites do not have the equipment to bend or cut re-bar, Ferneuf always fills custom orders.
  • Lee creates one-of-a-kind designs and custom orders to fit any shape and size of both men and women.
  • When I ordered a custom item a couple weeks ago, I noticed that Lowes' internal systems are all tied into open source programs.


Middle English: from Old French coustume, based on Latin consuetudo, from consuetus, past participle of consuescere 'accustom', from con- (expressing intensive force) + suescere 'become accustomed'.

  • Both custom and costume (early 18th century) come from the same root, Latin consuetudo ‘custom, habit’—costume was originally the decor and clothing appropriate to a painting with a historical theme. A customer (Late Middle English) was a person who habitually bought from a particular tradesman, and customs (Late Middle English) were payments traditionally made to a lord or king.

Words that rhyme with custom


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cus·tom

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