- keeping; guardianship; care.
- the keeping or charge of officers of the law: The car was held in the custody of the police.
- imprisonment; legal restraint: He was taken into custody.
- Also called child custody. Law. the right of determining the residence, protection, care, and education of a minor child or children, especially in a divorce or separation.Compare joint custody, sole custody.
Origin of custody
1400–50; late Middle English custodye < Latin custōdia “a watching, watchman,” equivalent to custōd- (stem of custōs) “keeper” + -ia -y3
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. safekeeping, charge, watch.
1. Custody, keeping, possession imply a guardianship or care for something. Custody denotes a strict keeping, as by a formally authorized and responsible guardian or keeper: in the custody of the sheriff. Keeping denotes having in one's care or charge, as for guarding or preservation: I left the package in my mother's keeping. Possession means holding, ownership, or mastery: Leave it in possession of its owner.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for child-custody
He was sentenced to six years in prison for a plot to plant cocaine on a mother during a child-custody case.Phone Hacking: Did Murdoch’s Papers Show Political Bias?
September 18, 2012
- the act of keeping safe or guarding, esp the right of guardianship of a minor
- the state of being held by the police; arrest (esp in the phrases in custody, take into custody)
C15: from Latin custōdia, from custōs guard, defender
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for child-custody
mid-15c., from Latin custodia "guarding, watching, keeping," from custos (genitive custodis) "guardian, keeper, protector," from PIE *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal" (see hide (n.1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper