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  1. according to or depending on custom; usual; habitual.
  2. of or established by custom rather than law.
  3. Law. defined by long-continued practices: the customary service due from land in a manor.
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noun, plural cus·tom·ar·ies.
  1. a book or document containing the legal customs or customary laws of a locality.
  2. any body of such customs or laws.
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Origin of customary

1375–1425; 1515–25 for current senses; late Middle English < Medieval Latin custumārius, customārius, equivalent to costum(i)a custom (also in Vulgar Latin; see custom) + -ārius -ary
Related formscus·tom·ar·i·ly [kuhs-tuh-mer-uh-lee; for emphasis, kuhs-tuh-mair-uh-lee] /ˈkʌs təˌmɛr ə li; for emphasis, ˌkʌs təˈmɛər ə li/, adverbnon·cus·tom·ar·i·ly, adverbnon·cus·tom·ar·y, adjectiveun·cus·tom·ar·i·ly, adverbun·cus·tom·ar·y, adjective

Synonyms for customary

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Antonyms for customary

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

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Contemporary Examples of customary

Historical Examples of customary

British Dictionary definitions for customary


  1. in accordance with custom or habitual practice; usual; habitual
  2. law
    1. founded upon long continued practices and usage rather than law
    2. (of land, esp a feudal estate) held by custom
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noun plural -aries
    1. a statement in writing of customary laws and practices
    2. a body of such laws and customs
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Derived Formscustomarily, adverbcustomariness, noun
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 customary


1520s, from Medieval Latin custumarius, from Latin consuetudinarius, from consuetitudinem (see custom (n.)). Related: Customarily.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper