If something has been done a certain way for a long time and has become generally accepted, it's a custom. Asking strangers for candy on one night a year would seem strange if it weren't an established custom.

If you have been imprisoned in a far off country when you were just trying to blend in, you might have misunderstood the local customs. Custom can be traced back to the Latin verb consuescere, meaning "to accustom," in other words "to get used to." Custom can also describe something that you order made just the way you want it. Your five-seated bicycle is very original; was it custom-made?

Definitions of custom
  1. noun
    accepted or habitual practice
    synonyms: usage, usance
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    a custom that is peculiar to the United States or its citizens
    Anglicism, Britishism
    a custom that is peculiar to England or its citizens
    a custom or usage that has acquired the force of law
    a custom among some peoples whereby the husband of a pregnant wife is put to bed at the time of bearing the child
    a custom that is peculiar to Germany or its citizens
    habit, use
    (psychology) an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation; may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition
    the custom in some Islamic societies of women dressing modestly outside the home
    rite, ritual
    any customary observance or practice
    stereotyped behavior
    second nature
    acquired behavior that is practiced so long it seems innate
    betrothal, espousal
    the act of becoming betrothed or engaged
    marriage, marriage ceremony, wedding
    the act of marrying; the nuptial ceremony
    rite of passage
    a ritual performed in some cultures at times when an individual changes status (as from adolescence to adulthood)
    the habit of keeping free of superficial imperfections
    type of:
    pattern, practice
    a customary way of operation or behavior
    something that survives
  2. noun
    a specific practice of long standing
    synonyms: tradition
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    habit, wont
    an established custom
    (Islam) a tradition based on reports of the sayings and activities of Muhammad and his companions
    a custom that for a long time has been an important feature of some group or society
    the biblical institution whereby a man must marry the widow of his childless brother in order to maintain the brother's line
    type of:
    knowledge of how something is usually done
  3. adjective
    made according to the specifications of an individual
    synonyms: custom-made
    bespoke, bespoken, made-to-order, tailor-made, tailored
    (of clothing) custom-made
    custom-built, made-to-order
    built for a particular individual
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    made for purchase and immediate use
    produced by a manufacturing process
    off-the-peg, off-the-rack, off-the-shelf, ready-to-wear
    (especially of clothing) made in standard sizes and available from merchandise in stock
    manufactured in standard sizes to be shipped and assembled elsewhere
    food products that are prepared in advance and can be eaten as sold
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  4. noun
    money collected under a tariff
    synonyms: customs, customs duty, impost
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    ship money
    an impost levied in England to provide money for ships for national defense
    type of:
    duty, tariff
    a government tax on imports or exports
  5. noun
    habitual patronage
    “I have given this tailor my custom for many years”
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    type of:
    patronage, trade
    the business given to a commercial establishment by its customers
Word Family
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