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The verb is from Middle English accustomen, from Old French acoustumer, acustumer (Modern French accoutumer) corresponding to a (to, toward) + custom. More at custom, costume.

The noun is from Middle English acustom.


  • IPA(key): /ə.ˈkʌs.təm/
  • Audio (US):(file)



accustom (third-person singular simple present accustoms, present participle accustoming, simple past and past participle accustomed)

  1. (transitive, often passive voice or reflexive, with to) To make familiar by use; to cause to accept; to habituate, familiarize, or inure.
    Early exposure to pet allergens and pet-related bacteria accustoms the body to allergens.
    • c. 1753, John Hawkesworth et al., Adventurer:
      I shall always fear that he who accustoms himself to fraud in little things, wants only opportunity to practice it in greater.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      “[…] it is not fair of you to bring against mankind double weapons ! Dangerous enough you are as woman alone, without bringing to your aid those gifts of mind suited to problems which men have been accustomed to arrogate to themselves.”
    • 1962 December, “Talking of Trains: Derailment at Lincoln”, in Modern Railways, page 375:
      Although it might be thought that drivers would naturally refer constantly to the speedometer, older drivers who come to diesel driving after years of steam experience without the help of speedometers, as well as those on steam engines which have been equipped with speedometers in recent years, have not accustomed themselves to the constant use of this instrument.
    • 2011 March 11, Larry Rohter, “CNN’s Latin Sister Looks to Capture a Booming Market”, in The New York Times:
      He took it [a television] back to his unfurnished room and began watching as much as he could, including Ms. Winfrey’s show, to accustom his ear to hearing English.
    • 2017 May 31, Jonathan Vanian, “How Microsoft Is Sowing the Seeds of an Augmented Reality Future”, in Fortune:
      [] creating 3D graphics “is a fundamental building block” to popularizing AR because it helps accustom the general public to interacting with 3D content.
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To be wont.
    • 1609, Richard Carew, The Survey of Cornwall. [], new edition, London: [] B. Law, []; Penzance, Cornwall: J. Hewett, published 1769, →OCLC:
      all of them accustoming , once in the year , to take their kind of the fresh water
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To cohabit.



Derived terms



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accustom (plural accustoms)

  1. (obsolete) Custom.