[ kuh-stoh-dee-uh n ]
/ kʌˈstoʊ di ən /


a person who has custody; keeper; guardian.
a person entrusted with guarding or maintaining a property; janitor.

Nearby words

  1. custer,
  2. custer's last stand,
  3. custer, george armstrong,
  4. custodes,
  5. custodial,
  6. custodianship,
  7. custody,
  8. custom,
  9. custom house,
  10. custom-build

Origin of custodian

1775–85; < Latin custōdi(a) watchman (see custody) + -an

Related formscus·to·di·an·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for custodianship

  • Simply that the custodianship of esprit must ever be in the hands of the officer corps.

    The Armed Forces Officer|U. S. Department of Defense

British Dictionary definitions for custodianship


/ (kʌsˈtəʊdɪənʃɪp) /


the condition of being a custodian
(in Britain) a legal basis for the care of children under the Children's Act 1975, midway between fostering and adoption, devised for children settled in long-term foster care or living permanently with relatives or a step-parent


/ (kʌsˈtəʊdɪən) /


a person who has custody, as of a prisoner, ward, etc
a guardian or keeper, as of an art collection, etc
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 custodianship



1781, from custody (Latin custodia) + -an. As "janitor," by 1944, American English, short for custodian-janitor (by 1899).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper