Open main menu




From Middle English custume, borrowed from Anglo-Norman custume, from Old French coustume, from a Vulgar Latin *cōnsuētūmen or *costūmen, 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. Doublet of consuetude.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkʌstəm/
  • (file)


custom (countable and uncountable, 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.
  2. Traditional beliefs or rituals
  3. (Britain) Habitual buying of goods; practice of frequenting, as a shop, manufactory, etc., for making purchases or giving orders; business support.
    • Let him have your custom, but not your votes. - (Can we date this quote by Joseph Addison?)
  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. (Can we date this quote by Wharton?)
  5. (obsolete) Familiar acquaintance; familiarity.
  6. The customary toll, tax, or tribute.
    • Render, therefore, to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom. (Can we date this quote by 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.
  3. (archaic) accustomed; usual

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



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 termsEdit

Further readingEdit