Definition of consuetude in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɒnswɪtjuːd/


chiefly Scottish
A custom, especially one having legal force.
Example sentences
  • The Moderns were frequently critical of Progress, not because they favoured old verities and consuetudes, but because Progress attempted to pass itself off as Nature, or as History itself.
  • Obviously, consuetude and orality still retained their primary role: a huge number of institutional, personal, and juridical relationships were never sanctioned in written form.
  • We conclude by discussing the implications of consuetude for political and social behavior.



Pronunciation: /kɒnswɪˈtjuːdɪn(ə)ri/
Example sentences
  • The consuetudinary law and traditional memory of the Lombards, which had been preserved for centuries through the means typical of oral cultures, needed a new and stronger foundation: they became texts written in Latin.
  • But modernity is fuelled by secularization: in our times, political authority must be not merely the enforcer of natural or consuetudinary law, but rather the producer of law.
  • In 1452, Bizkaians assembled beneath their sacred Oak of Gernika and approved the Fuero Viejo de Bizkaia, the Old Law of Bizkaia: a redaction of the consuetudinary laws and customs that had informed their legal practices for centuries.


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin consuetudo (see custom).

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