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[kuhs-tuh-mer] /ˈkʌs tə mər/
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.
late Middle English
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for customers
  • Her creations have also inspired customers to duplicate her designs or make up their own.
  • customers have obviously had no trouble finding them.
  • Now a whole new set of customers is discovering sport kiting.
  • It is the reproof to a landlord who serves his customers with bad wine.
  • The barkeeper permits them to sit about the stove and by shivering invite the sympathy of transient customers.
  • The first morning he had a dozen customers, the next about two hundred.
  • It was good for business, since lodge-brothers frequently became customers.
  • Towards daybreak, little boys issued from the bakers' shops, carrying baskets of bread to the houses of their usual customers.
  • To show a parrot to perspective customers, the vendor opens a small door on the cage and reaches his arm in.
  • The customers were hesitant to pay for pictures that they couldn't see, and sales were low.
British Dictionary definitions for customers


a person who buys
(informal) a person with whom one has dealings: a cool customer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for customers



late 14c., "customs official;" later "buyer" (early 15c.), from Anglo-French custumer, from Medieval Latin custumarius, from Latin consuetudinarius (see custom (n.)). 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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Slang definitions & phrases for customers



A person; cookie •The word has a tinge of disapproval: a tough customer/ She's a shrewd customer

[1580s+; perhaps an expansion of cuss]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with customers


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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