a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron.
Informal. a person one has to deal with: a tough customer; a cool customer.

1400–50; late Middle English; see custom, -er1; compare Middle English customer collector of customs < Anglo-French; Old French costumier, cognate with Medieval Latin custumārius; see customary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
customer (ˈkʌstəmə)
1.  a person who buys
2.  informal a person with whom one has dealings: a cool customer

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

14c., "customs official;" later "buyer" (early 15c.), from Anglo-Fr. custumer, from M.L. custumarius, from L. consuetudinarius (see custom). More generalized meaning "a person with whom one has dealings" emerged 1540s; that of "a person to deal with" (usually wth an adjective,
tough, etc.) is by 1580s. In Shakespeare, the word also can mean "prostitute."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see ugly customer.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
For example, a company may simply decide to move its local customer services
  operation to one of its own subsidiaries abroad.
Ultimately, the customer pays for all the fixes through rate increases.
It all depends on what the customer wants from a fairly extensive list.
Our version of a perfect customer experience is one in which our customer
  doesn't want to talk to us.
Idioms & Phrases
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