child custody


noun, plural cus·to·dies.
  1. keeping; guardianship; care.
  2. the keeping or charge of officers of the law: The car was held in the custody of the police.
  3. imprisonment; legal restraint: He was taken into custody.
  4. 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

Synonyms for custody

Synonym study

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for child-custody

Contemporary Examples of child-custody

British Dictionary definitions for child-custody


noun plural -dies
  1. the act of keeping safe or guarding, esp the right of guardianship of a minor
  2. the state of being held by the police; arrest (esp in the phrases in custody, take into custody)
Derived Formscustodial (kʌˈstəʊdɪəl), adjective

Word Origin for 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