[ kuhs-tuh-dee ]
/ ˈkʌs tə di /
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noun, plural cus·to·dies.
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.
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Origin of custody

1400–50; late Middle English custodye <Latin custōdia “a watching, watchman,” equivalent to custōd- (stem of custōs ) “keeper” + -ia -y3

synonym study for custody

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. 2021

How to use custody in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for custody

/ (ˈkʌstədɪ) /

noun plural -dies
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)

Derived forms of custody

custodial (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