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From Middle English custumary, from Medieval Latin custumarius. By surface analysis, custom +‎ -ary.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkʌs.tə.m(ə.)ɹi/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkʌs.təˌmɛɹ.i/
    • (file)


customary (comparative more customary, superlative most customary)

  1. In accordance with, or established by, custom or common usage
    Synonyms: conventional, habitual
    • 1956, Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, page 39:
      When two people met for the first time in Diaspar—or even for the hundredth—it was customary to spend an hour or so in an exchange or courtesies before getting down to business, if any.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter III, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC:
      At half-past nine on this Saturday evening, the parlour of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors. [] In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass.
  2. Holding or held by custom
    customary tenants
    • 1777, Joseph Nicolson, Richard Burn, The history and antiquities of the counties of Westmorland and Cumberland:
      The tenants are chiefly customary and heriotable.


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customary (plural customaries)

  1. (law) A book containing laws and usages, or customs; a custumal.

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