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accustom +‎ -ed


  • IPA(key): /ə.ˈkʌs.təmd/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ac‧cus‧tomed


accustomed (comparative more accustomed, superlative most accustomed)

  1. (of a person) Familiar with something through repeated experience; adapted to existing conditions.
    accustomed to walking long distances
    accustomed to cold
    • 1484, William Caxton (translator), The Book of the Subtyl Historyes and Fables of Esope, “The v fable is of the Foxe and of the busshe,”[1]
      And ther fore men ought not to helpe them whiche ben acustomed to doo euylle
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Henry Cripps, Partition 1, Section 2, Member 2, Subsection 3, p. 99,[2]
      Such things as we haue beene long accustomed to, though they be evill in their owne nature; yet they are lesse offensiue.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, London: T. Egerton, Volume III, Chapter 14,[3]
      “Miss Bennet, do you know who I am? I have not been accustomed to such language as this.”
    • 1904, Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Missing Three-Quarter” in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1905, p. 294,[4]
      Young Overton’s face assumed the bothered look of the man who is more accustomed to using his muscles than his wits []
    • 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise, New York: Scribner, Book One, Chapter 2, p. 64,[5]
      None of the Victorian mothers—and most of the mothers were Victorian—had any idea how casually their daughters were accustomed to be kissed.
  2. (of a thing, condition, activity, etc.) Familiar through use; usual; customary.
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5,[6]
      It is an accustomed action with her, to seem thus washing her hands: I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Dublin: John Smith, Volume 1, Book 4, Chapter 9, p. 170,[7]
      Molly had no sooner apparelled herself in her accustomed Rags, than her Sisters began to fall violently upon her []
    • 1812, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto 2, Stanza 72, in The Poetical Works of Lord Byron, Boston: Cummings & Hilliard, 1814, Volume I, p. 249,[8]
      Who now shall lead thy scatter’d children forth,
      And long-accustom’d bondage uncreate?
    • 1912, Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali, London: The India Society, Section 63, p. 37,[9]
      I am uneasy at heart when I have to leave my accustomed shelter; I forget that there abides the old in the new, and that there also thou abidest.
  3. (obsolete) Frequented by customers.
    • 1778, Tobias Smollett (translator), The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane by Alain-René Lesage, London: S. Crowder et al., Volume I, Chapter 7, p. 148,[10]
      There I got a place on the same terms as at Segovia, in a well accustomed shop, much frequented on account of the neighbourhood of the church of Santa Cruz, and the Prince’s theatre []
    • 1817, Seth William Stevenson[11], Journal of a Tour through Part of France, Flanders, and Holland, Norwich: for the author, Chapter 21, p. 283,[12]
      The pompous hotel is a lone cottage of very mean appearance, on the road side, and I will be sworn, was but an ill-accustomed Inn, until those renowned Generals justly gave it a licence.

Usage notes[edit]

When referring to a person, accustomed is only used predicatively; when referring to a thing, it is only used attributively. The use of the infinitive following accustomed (e.g. accustomed to do) is obsolete; in contemporary English, the gerund is used in this context (e.g. accustomed to doing).





  1. simple past tense and past participle of accustom