from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or right of guarding, especially such a right granted by a court: an adult who was given custody of the child.
  • n. Care, supervision, and control exerted by one in charge. See Synonyms at care.
  • n. The state of being detained or held under guard, especially by the police: took the robbery suspect into custody.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The legal right to take care of something or somebody, especially children.
  • n. Temporary possession or care of somebody else's property.
  • n. The state of being imprisoned or detained, usually pending a trial.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A keeping or guarding; care, watch, inspection, for keeping, preservation, or security.
  • n. Judicial or penal safe-keeping.
  • n. State of being guarded and watched to prevent escape; restraint of liberty; confinement; imprisonment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A keeping; a guarding; care, watch, inspection, or detention, for preservation or security: as, the prisoner was committed to the custody of the sheriff.
  • n. Restraint of liberty; confinement; imprisonment; incarceration.
  • n. Safe-keeping against a foe; guarding; security.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (with `in') guardianship over; in divorce cases it is the right to house and care for and discipline a child
  • n. a state of being confined (usually for a short time)
  • n. holding by the police


Middle English custodie, from Latin custōdia, from custōs, custōd-, guard.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin custodia ("a keeping, watch, guard, prison"), from custos ("a keeper, watchman, guard"). (Wiktionary)


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  • Consider it done, friend.

    August 19, 2008

  • Niiiice!

    Reminds me of college, where all students had to do a two-year project called a Plan, and some friends devised a Top Ten List for Reducing Plan Stress. Number one was: "Change the P in Plan to an F for flan, and turn your own personal nightmare into an innocuous Mexican custard-like dessert."

    (Note: no flans were harmed in the making of this immature comment.)

    p.s. Have you thought about bracketing custardy?

    August 16, 2008

  • Think of this word as being spelled "custardy" to make light of those difficult incarceration-based situations.

    August 16, 2008