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Line breaks: cus|tody
Pronunciation: /ˈkʌstədi

Definition of custody in English:


[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.
1.1 Law Parental responsibility, especially as allocated to one of two divorcing parents: 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.


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



Pronunciation: /kʌˈstəʊdɪəl/
Example sentences
  • In mitigation, John Topham said his client had no previous convictions and a custodial sentence was unnecessary.
  • He said that although the case was on the borderline of a custodial sentence, the magistrates imposed 12 weeks.
  • He also worked on a centralised custodial facility for Cheshire Police and a hospital in Manchester.

Definition of custody in:

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