Definition of custody in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkʌstədi/


[mass noun]
1The protective care or guardianship of someone or something: the property was placed in the custody of a trustee
More example sentences
  • Some of the culture clash between care and custody can be dealt with.
  • The pair will be disqualified from having custody or care of farm animals for five years.
  • On the same day, the society's motion for temporary care and custody was dismissed.
care, guardianship, charge, keeping, safe keeping, wardship, ward, responsibility, protection, guidance, tutelage;
custodianship, trusteeship, trust, keep, possession, hands;
supervision, superintendence, surveillance, control, aegis, auspices;
Law  escrow
1.1 Law Responsibility for the care, maintenance, and upbringing of a child or children: he was trying to get custody of their child
More example sentences
  • In a divorce, fathers control custody of sons over the age of two and daughters over the age of seven.
  • Both the applicant and the respondent were seeking sole custody of the children.
  • In Burns, the mother had full custody of two children and the parents shared custody of a third child.
2Imprisonment: my father was being taken into custody
More example sentences
  • She was handcuffed and taken into custody, and then taken for medical treatment.
  • All 19 men were taken into custody and transferred to a detention centre in Fallujah.
  • Most were taken into custody during the international armed conflict in Afghanistan.
imprisonment, detention, confinement, incarceration, internment, captivity;
archaic duress, durance


Late Middle English: from Latin custodia, from custos 'guardian'.

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