From Middle English customere, custommere, from Old French coustumier, costumier (compare modern French coutumier), from Medieval Latin custumarius (“a toll-gatherer, tax-collector”, noun), from custumarius (“pertaining to custom or customs”, adj), from custuma (“custom, tax”). More at custom.
customer (plural customers)
- A patron; one who purchases or receives a product or service from a business or merchant, or intends to do so.
- Every person who passes by is a potential customer.
- (informal) A person, especially one engaging in some sort of interaction with others.
- a cool customer, a tough customer, an ugly customer
- 1971, Herman Wouk, chapter 52, in The Winds of War]:
- Pug could just see Slote's pale face under his fur hat. "I don't agree with you on that. He's a pretty tough customer, Hopkins."
- 2020 January 2, Philip Haigh, “Ten eventful years and plenty of talking points”, in Rail, page 54:
- This switch led to Philip Hammond becoming the Transport Secretary and he quickly proved to be a tricky customer, asking questions about rail spending and reining it back whenever possible.