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definition of the word custom

by the Wiktionnary

Part or all of this page has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

< Middle English < Old French costume < Mediaeval Latin custuma (custom, etc.), a contraction and modification of Latin consuetudo (custom, habit) < consuescere (to accustom), inchoative form of consuere (to be accustomed) < con- + suere (to be accustomed), perhaps < suus (one's own, his own); see consuetude.



custom (plural customs)

  1. Frequent repetition of the same act; way of acting common to many; ordinary manner; habitual practice; usage; method of doing or living.
    • And teach customs which are not lawful. Acts xvi. 21.
    • Moved beyond his custom, Gama said. Tennyson.
    • A custom More honored in the breach than the observance. Shakespeare
  2. Habitual buying of goods; practice of frequenting, as a shop, manufactory, etc., for making purchases or giving orders; business support.
    • Let him have your custom, but not your votes. Addison.
  3. (law) Long-established practice, considered as unwritten law, and resting for authority on long consent; usage. See Usage, and Prescription.
    • Usage is a fact. Custom is a law. There can be no custom without usage, though there may be usage without custom. Wharton.
  4. (obsolete) Familiar acquaintance; familiarity.
    • Age can not wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety. Shakespeare
  5. The customary toll, tax, or tribute.
    • Render, therefore, to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom. Rom. xiii. 7.
  6. (plurale tantum) Duties or tolls imposed by law on commodities, imported or exported.

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