- (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.
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.
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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
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?
In many places, it was custom to place huts outside the villages for smallpox victims.
MN Plastics Michigan-based supplier of custom injection molding products.After Hobby Lobby, These 82 Corporations Could Drop Birth Control Coverage |Abby Haglage |June 30, 2014 |DAILY BEAST
“I can build a custom motorcycle from scratch, can weld, and worked as a lube guy at a GM dealership,” Dustykatt says.Inside the Bizarre World of ‘Bronies,’ Adult Male Fans of ‘My Little Pony’ |Kevin Fallon |May 1, 2014 |DAILY BEAST
The custom seems, however, more prevalent than in any part of India where I have been, the vicinity of Calcutta excepted.An Account of The Kingdom of Nepal |Fancis Buchanan Hamilton
Acts called immoral may be prohibited in such a measure as custom recommends; provocations to immoral acts should be permitted.Philosophic Nights In Paris |Remy De Gourmont
Custom is, to think a handsome thing in private but tame it down in the utterance.The Letters Of Mark Twain, Volume 6, 1907-1910 |Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
It has been custom, both here and in France, for a long time back, to receive such persons unofficially.
In the places above mentioned we see it as a game, but still connected with custom.The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland (Vol II of II) |Alice Bertha Gomme
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)