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

  • n. A governmental building or office where customs are collected and ships are cleared for entering or leaving the country.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of custom house.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The building where customs and duties are paid, and where vessels are entered or cleared.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A governmental office located at a point of exportation and importation, as a seaport, for the collection of customs, the clearance of vessels, etc.
  • n. The whole governmental establishment by means of which the customs revenue is collected and its regulations are enforced.

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

  • n. a government building where customs are collected and where ships are cleared to enter or leave the country


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • There used to be, and belike is yet, a custom, in all maritime places which have a port, that all merchants who come thither with merchandise, having unloaded it, should carry it all into a warehouse, which is in many places called a customhouse, kept by the commonality or by the lord of the place.

    The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio

  • From this another conclusion may be draw, namely, that the sorry soldier of Mexico is not altogether amiable and is prone to be nasty and dangerous to the American boys who have crossed the sea to take "peaceable" possession of a customhouse.

    Mexico's Army and Ours

  • He was owed a decent retirement, given his exceptional service: the dozen years affixing wool subsidies in the aromatic customhouse earned the court more than most customs officers earned in a lifetime.

    A Complaint to His Purse

  • Biographical Information: Lena Schleindlinger was the first woman customhouse broker in Philadelphia.

    Personal Information for Lena Schleindlinger

  • By 1765 it had a customhouse and traded regularly with the West Indies.

    The King's Best Highway

  • “Ah yes, the customhouse traffic must be very great,” nodded Déprez.

    The Blackstone Key

  • After reporting to Helm, Nathaniel Gordon obtained clearance from the Spanish customhouse.22 He appeared before Helm again on April 7, and requested his papers.

    Hanging Captain Gordon

  • As he was about to set off on a slaving expedition in 1859, he mentioned to his brother—a customhouse official—the nature of his voyage.

    Hanging Captain Gordon

  • The vessel had been seized in New York Harbor by a federal revenue cutter shortly after having been approved for sailing by the customhouse.

    Hanging Captain Gordon

  • The letter informed him that the Spanish customhouse had indeed given permission “of the said ship, notwithstanding there is a suspicion that she may be going with the object of conveying an expedition of negroes.”

    Hanging Captain Gordon


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