- (used with a singular or plural verb) duties imposed by law on imported or, less commonly, exported goods.
- (used with a singular verb) the government department that collects these duties.
- (used with a singular verb) the section of an airport, station, etc., where baggage is checked for contraband and for goods subject to duty.
QUIZ YOURSELF ON PARENTHESES AND BRACKETS APLENTY!
Origin of custom
synonym study for custom
Words nearby custom
What does custom mean?
As a noun, custom means a longstanding practice of a person (such as a daily habit) or a group (such as a cultural practice).
As an adjective, custom describes something made to unique specifications, especially something one of a kind. Its synonym is custom-made.
The word customs with an s refers to fees paid on imported goods, or the government department that handles such things. It is also the name of the checkpoint in the airport where incoming luggage and goods are inspected for prohibited items.
Example: When I travel abroad, it’s my custom to bring home a custom-made souvenir that highlights the artistic customs of the people who live in that place. The items are usually very unique, which often leads to a lot of questions when I go through customs at the airport!
Where does custom come from?
Custom has been in use in English since at least 1200. It comes from the Middle English custume, from the Old French costume, tracing all the way back to the Latin consuēscere, which means “to grow accustomed to” and comes from the Latin suēscere, “to be used to.”
Sociologists tend to think of customs as cultural habits that are passed down from generation to generation. A similar word is tradition. For Americans, a common Thanksgiving custom is having a large dinner, especially turkey. Customs vary from place to place based on the culture, and the word is often used in phrases like local custom and national custom. Customs can also be personal, such as getting a coffee on the way to work every day, or eating at the same restaurant every Friday. Relatedly, the word customer is based on the same root, and the regular customers of a business are sometimes referred to collectively as its custom (though this usage is uncommon).
Custom as an adjective means that something was made or prepared especially for you. A trendy way of saying this is bespoke.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to custom?
- customs (noun)
What are some synonyms for custom?
What are some words that share a root or word element with custom?
What are some words that often get used in discussing custom?
How is custom used in real life?
Custom as a noun is often used in discussion of the things that people do over and over again, typically because they enjoy them. As an adjective, it refers to something made to order.
Always learn the local customs of the places you visit and respect them in order to leave a positive impression! pic.twitter.com/cIEBE3MuEM
— Travelers Initiative (@HumanTravels) May 31, 2016
Keanu Reeves with his custom-made bass guitar pic.twitter.com/roGp1pYe0O
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) March 5, 2020
you know it's good to be home when you tell the guy at customs "thank you, I love you."
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) October 26, 2015
Try using custom!
Is custom used correctly in the following sentence?
It’s my custom to sit down each night before bed and read a chapter of a book.
Example sentences from the Web for custom
Trusted Media Brands’ edit integrations, for example, do not cost the same as custom content, Gier said, who declined to share specific prices.‘Nothing quite like being forced’: Publishers whip up quicker, cheaper ad products for advertisers|Max Willens|August 27, 2020|Digiday
It was just in January that Kristen took us along for the ride as she dove into the world of women’s custom suits.
The May rules ban any firm, American or not, from using American software or chipmaking equipment to create custom-made processors for Huawei.Huawei said the U.S. couldn’t ‘crush’ it. Trump is starving it instead|claychandler|August 20, 2020|Fortune
Instead of shots of cohosts gallivanting around on holiday, for example, Insider’s custom productions now might rely on voice-overs on footage shot on location.”Pivot” has been the word’: How travel publishers are navigating the coronavirus pandemic|Max Willens|August 20, 2020|Digiday
Investors certainly saw the loss of Huawei’s custom chips as MediaTek’s gain.This chipmaker was a winner in the U.S. crackdown on Huawei. Now, it’s another victim|Grady McGregor|August 20, 2020|Fortune
Through his company, consumers will be able to cheaply make custom DNA strands, including what Heinz calls “creatures.”
I spent half an hour measuring all around the president to get the 27 precise measurements I needed to craft a true custom suit.From Auschwitz to the White House: One Tailor’s American Tale|Martin Greenfield|December 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He later told CNN that eating cat was a pre-war custom across Italy.Will the Swiss Quit Cooking their Kittens and Puppies?|Barbie Latza Nadeau|November 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He slept in an upright position in a custom armchair, so the reasons for his lying down to sleep are open to speculation.
Fly a Union flag when custom dictates it should be the Royal Standard?
When his lordship retired early, as was his custom, the other men adjourned once more to the billiard-room.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
When Cortez made conquest of Mexico in 1519 smoking seemed to be a common as well as an ancient custom among the natives.
But for the most part even industry and endowment were powerless against the inertia of custom and the dead-weight of environment.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice|Stephen Leacock
In 1634 he also prohibited the landing of tobacco any where except at the quay near the custom house in London.
It has long been the custom for advertisers in the continental journals to typify their wares.
British Dictionary definitions for custom
- a practice which by long-established usage has come to have the force of law
- such practices collectively (esp in the phrase custom and practice)