a habitual practice; the usual way of acting in given circumstances.
habits or usages collectively; convention.
a practice so long established that it has the force of law.
such practices collectively.
Sociology. a group pattern of habitual activity usually transmitted from one generation to another.
toll; duty.
(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.
regular patronage of a particular shop, restaurant, etc.
the customers or patrons of a business firm, collectively.
the aggregate of customers.
(in medieval Europe) a customary tax, tribute, or service owed by peasants to their lord.
made specially for individual customers: custom shoes.
dealing in things so made, or doing work to order: a custom tailor.

1150–1200; Middle English custume < Anglo-French; Old French costume < Vulgar Latin *co(n)s()tūmin-, replacing Latin consuētūdin- (stem of consuētūdō), equivalent to consuēt(us) accustomed, past participle of consuēscere (con- con- + suē- (akin to suus one's own) + -tus past participle suffix) + -ūdin- noun suffix; cf. costume

1, 2. Custom, habit, practice mean an established way of doing things. Custom applied to a community or to an individual, implies a more or less permanent continuance of a social usage: It is the custom to give gifts at Christmas time. Habit applied particularly to an individual, implies such repetition of the same action as to develop a natural, spontaneous, or rooted tendency or inclination to perform it: to make a habit of reading the newspapers. Practice applies to a set of fixed habits or an ordered procedure in conducting activities: It is his practice to verify all statements. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
custom (ˈkʌstəm)
1.  a usual or habitual practice; typical mode of behaviour
2.  the long-established habits or traditions of a society collectively; convention: custom dictates good manners
3.  a.  a practice which by long-established usage has come to have the force of law
 b.  such practices collectively (esp in the phrase custom and practice)
4.  habitual patronage, esp of a shop or business
5.  the customers of a shop or business collectively
6.  (in feudal Europe) a tribute paid by a vassal to his lord
7.  made to the specifications of an individual customer (often in the combinations custom-built, custom-made)
8.  specializing in goods so made
[C12: from Old French costume, from Latin consuētūdō, from consuēscere to grow accustomed to, from suēscere to be used to]

customs (ˈkʌstəmz)
1.  duty on imports or exports
2.  the government department responsible for the collection of these duties
3.  the part of a port, airport, frontier station, etc, where baggage and freight are examined for dutiable goods and contraband
4.  the procedure for examining baggage and freight, paying duty, etc
5.  (as modifier): customs officer

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1200, "habitual practice," from O.Fr. costume, from V.L. *consuetumen, from L. consuetudinem (nom. consuetudo) "habit or usage," from consuetus, pp. of consuescere "accustom," from com- intens. prefix + suescere "become used to, accustom oneself," related to sui, gen. of suus "oneself," from PIE *swe-
"oneself" (see idiom). Replaced O.E. þeaw. Sense of a "regular" toll or tax on goods is early 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Custom definition

a tax imposed by the Romans. The tax-gatherers were termed publicans (q.v.), who had their stations at the gates of cities, and in the public highways, and at the place set apart for that purpose, called the "receipt of custom" (Matt.9: 9; Mark 2:14), where they collected the money that was to be paid on certain goods (Matt.17:25). These publicans were tempted to exact more from the people than was lawful, and were, in consequence of their extortions, objects of great hatred. The Pharisees would have no intercourse with them (Matt.5:46, 47; 9:10, 11). A tax or tribute (q.v.) of half a shekel was annually paid by every adult Jew for the temple. It had to be paid in Jewish coin (Matt. 22:17-19; Mark 12:14, 15). Money-changers (q.v.) were necessary, to enable the Jews who came up to Jerusalem at the feasts to exchange their foreign coin for Jewish money; but as it was forbidden by the law to carry on such a traffic for emolument (Deut. 23:19, 20), our Lord drove them from the temple (Matt. 21:12: Mark 11:15).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Customs duties have fallen as trade barriers have been reduced.
Income taxes are more efficient than customs duties, but require a bigger
  initial bureaucracy.
It is not unusual for even long-serving administrators to be treated as
  non-native guests who need to learn the local customs.
Customs tariffs were kept low, and foreign merchants welcomed.
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