noun, plural custodies.
keeping; guardianship; care.
the keeping or charge of officers of the law: The car was held in the custody of the police.
imprisonment; legal restraint: He was taken into custody.
Also called child custody. Law. the right of determining the residence, protection, care, and education of a minor child or children, especially in a divorce or separation.

1400–50; late Middle English custodye < Latin custōdia a watching, watchman, equivalent to custōd- (stem of custōs) keeper + -ia -y3

1. safekeeping, charge, watch. Custody, keeping, possession imply a guardianship or care for something. Custody denotes a strict keeping, as by a formally authorized and responsible guardian or keeper: in the custody of the sheriff. Keeping denotes having in one's care or charge, as for guarding or preservation: I left the package in my mother's keeping. Possession means holding, ownership, or mastery: Leave it in possession of its owner. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
custody (ˈkʌstədɪ)
n , pl -dies
1.  the act of keeping safe or guarding, esp the right of guardianship of a minor
2.  the state of being held by the police; arrest (esp in the phrases in custody, take into custody)
[C15: from Latin custōdia, from custōs guard, defender]

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

late 15c., from L. custodia "guarding or keeping," from custos (gen. custodis) "guardian, keeper, protection," from PIE *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal" (see hide (n.1)). Related: Custodial (1772).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Custody situation: nephew's dad is not, nor has he ever been, in the picture.
Only two major figures from the old regime are in custody.
The alleged thief was taken into custody but no charges were brought for lack
  of evidence.
Paramilitary cops in ski masks taking dudes into custody.
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