Definitions

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

  • n. A practice followed by people of a particular group or region.
  • n. A habitual practice of a person: my custom of reading a little before sleep. See Synonyms at habit.
  • n. Law A common tradition or usage so long established that it has the force or validity of law.
  • n. Habitual patronage, as of a store.
  • n. Habitual customers; patrons.
  • n. Duties or taxes imposed on imported and, less commonly, exported goods.
  • n. The governmental agency authorized to collect these duties.
  • n. The procedure for inspecting goods and baggage entering a country.
  • n. Tribute, service, or rent paid by a feudal tenant to a lord.
  • adj. Made to order.
  • adj. Specializing in the making or selling of made-to-order goods: a custom tailor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Frequent repetition of the same behavior; way of behavior common to many; ordinary manner; habitual practice; usage; method of doing, living or behaving.
  • n. Habitual buying of goods; practice of frequenting, as a shop, manufactory, etc., for making purchases or giving orders; business support.
  • n. Long-established practice, considered as unwritten law, and resting for authority on long consent; usage. See Usage, and Prescription.
  • n. Familiar acquaintance; familiarity.
  • n. The customary toll, tax, or tribute.
  • n. created under particular specifications, specialized, unique, custom-made
  • adj. made in a different way from usual, specially to fit one's needs
  • v. (transitive) To make familiar; to accustom.
  • v. (transitive) To supply with customers.
  • v. (transitive) To pay the customs of.
  • v. (intransitive) To have a custom.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Frequent repetition of the same act; way of acting common to many; ordinary manner; habitual practice; usage; method of doing or living.
  • n. Habitual buying of goods; practice of frequenting, as a shop, manufactory, etc., for making purchases or giving orders; business support.
  • n. Long-established practice, considered as unwritten law, and resting for authority on long consent; usage. See Usage, and Prescription.
  • n. Familiar aquaintance; familiarity.
  • n. The customary toll, tax, or tribute.
  • n. Duties or tolls imposed by law on commodities, imported or exported.
  • intransitive v. To have a custom.
  • transitive v. To make familiar; to accustom.
  • transitive v. To supply with customers.
  • transitive v. To pay the customs of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The common use or practice, either of an individual or of a community, but especially of the latter; habitual repetition of the same act or procedure; established manner or way.
  • n. In law, collectively, the settled habitudes of a community, such as are and have been for an indefinite time past generally recognized in it as the standards of what is just and right; ancient and general usage having the force of law.
  • n. The buying of goods or supplying of one's current needs; the practice of having recourse to some particular place, shop, manufactory, house of entertainment, etc., for the purpose of purchasing or giving orders.
  • n. Toll, tax, or duty; in the plural, specifically, the duties imposed by law on merchandise imported or exported.
  • n. In old French law, a system of customary law common to a whole province.
  • n. Duty, Impost, etc. See tax, n.
  • Done or made for individual customers, or to order: as, custom work; custom shoes.
  • Engaged in doing custom work: as, a custom tailor.
  • To make familiar; accustom.
  • To give custom to; supply with customers.
  • To pay duty for at the custom-house.
  • To be accustomed; be wont.

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

  • n. a specific practice of long standing
  • n. accepted or habitual practice
  • adj. made according to the specifications of an individual
  • n. habitual patronage
  • n. money collected under a tariff

Etymologies

Middle English custume, from Old French costume, from Latin cōnsuētūdō, cōnsuētūdin-, from cōnsuētus, past participle of cōnsuēscere, to accustom : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + suēscere, to become accustomed; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English custume, from Anglo-Norman custume, from Old French coustume, from Vulgar Latin *cōnsuētūmen, from Latin cōnsuētūdinem, accusative singular of cōnsuētūdō ("custom, habit"), from cōnsuēscō ("accustom, habituate"), from con- ("with") + suēscō ("become used or accustomed"), inchoative form of sueō ("I am accustomed"), perhaps from suus ("one's own, his own"); see consuetude. Displaced native Middle English wune, wone ("custom, habit, practice") (from Old English wuna ("custom, habit, practice, rite")), Middle English side, sid ("custom") (from Old English sidu, sido ("custom, note, manner")), Middle English cure ("custom, choice, preference") (from Old English cyre ("choice, choosing, free will")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As, therefore, the presbyters know that, in accordance with _the custom of the Church_, they are subject to him who has been set over them, so the bishops should know that they are greater than the presbyters, rather _by custom_, than by the truth of an arrangement of the Lord. "

    The Ancient Church Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution

  • If those ideas are a little bit far fetched for your taste, then you might want to purchase a great bottle of wine or champagne, and have the label custom printed with the couple's names, and the date of their upcoming nuptials.

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • Just because the custom is also very much built-in to human behavior, so what?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A Better Question

  • They took possession, therefore, of Zayla, which they made a den of thieves, established there what they called a custom-house11, and, by means of that post and galleys cruising in the narrow straits of

    First footsteps in East Africa

  • In some countries, we vary this arrangement by increasing the social freedom of married people; but the custom is accompanied by a commensurate lack of freedom before marriage, which causes questionable results, both in married life and in social life.

    Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution

  • This custom is almost universal, even to the present day.

    Hawaii's Story, by Hawaii's Queen

  • They took possession, therefore, of Zayla, which they made a den of thieves, established there what they called a custom-house [11], and, by means of that post and galleys cruising in the narrow straits of Bab el Mandeb, they laid the

    First Footsteps in East Africa

  • Yet when I name custom, I understand not the vulgar custom; for that were a precept no less dangerous to language than life, if we should speak or live after the manners of the vulgar: but that I call custom of speech, which is the consent of the learned; as custom of life, which is the consent of the good.

    Discoveries Made Upon Men and Matter and Some Poems

  • Robert J. Biggins, a former president of the National Funeral Directors Association, said J.ckson's body is likely in his casket, which he identified as a custom-made, top-of-the-line coffin made by the Indiana-based Batesville Casket Company that is called a "Promethean."

    Local News from The Lakeland Ledger

  • My favorite Colombian custom is the having of the soup at lunch.

    Mas Vainas of the Unexamined Life « Unknowing

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • custom = a tradition in a country

    May 15, 2009

  • A contronym: both traditional (usual) and configured (special).

    May 14, 2008

  • ... it can have all of my custom every time. HF 22

    December 7, 2006