Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for custom in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


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)).

Doublet of costume.



custom (plural customs)

  1. Frequent repetition of the same behavior; way of behavior common to many; ordinary manner; habitual practice; method of doing, living or behaving.
    • And teach customs which are not lawful. Acts xvi. 21.
    • Moved beyond his custom, Gama said. Alfred Tennyson.
    • A custom More honored in the breach than the observance. Shakespeare
  2. Traditional beliefs or rituals
  3. Habitual buying of goods; practice of frequenting, as a shop, manufactory, etc., for making purchases or giving orders; business support.
  4. (law) Long-established practice, considered as unwritten law, and resting for authority on long consent; usage. See Usage, and Prescription.
    • Usage is a fact. Custom is a law. There can be no custom without usage, though there may be usage without custom. Wharton.
  5. (obsolete) Familiar acquaintance; familiarity.
    • Age can not wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety. Shakespeare
  6. The customary toll, tax, or tribute.
    • Render, therefore, to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom. Rom. xiii. 7.




custom (not comparable)

  1. Created under particular specifications, specially to fit one's needs: specialized, unique, custom-made
    My feet are as big as powerboats, so I need custom shoes.
  2. Own, personal, not standard or premade
    We can embroider a wide range of ready designs or a custom logo.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



custom (third-person singular simple present customs, present participle customing, simple past and past participle customed)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To make familiar; to accustom.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Gray to this entry?)
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To supply with customers.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To pay the customs of.
  4. (obsolete, intransitive) To have a custom.

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]