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[kuhs-tos; Latin koo s-tohs] /ˈkʌs tɒs; Latin ˈkʊs toʊs/
noun, plural custodes
[kuh-stoh-deez; Latin koo s-toh-des] /kʌˈstoʊ diz; Latin kʊsˈtoʊ dɛs/ (Show IPA)
(italics) Latin. a custodian.
a superior in the Franciscan order.
Origin of custos
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Medieval Latin

custos morum

[koo s-tohs moh-roo m; English kuhs-tos mawr-uh m, mohr-] /ˈkʊs toʊs ˈmoʊ rʊm; English ˈkʌs tɒs ˈmɔr əm, ˈmoʊr-/
noun, plural custodes morum
[koo s-toh-des moh-roo m; English kuh-stoh-deez mawr-uh m, mohr-] /kʊsˈtoʊ dɛs ˈmoʊ rʊm; English kʌˈstoʊ diz ˈmɔr əm, ˈmoʊr-/ (Show IPA).
a custodian or guardian of morals; censor.
literally, guardian of established usages, laws, etc. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for custos
Historical Examples
  • Here is mine friendt, custos Arne, who has made a road for himself, for to drive along his own genius to the demple of fame.'

    The Great German Composers George T. Ferris
  • The agitation caused by the Schut and custos affair had subsided.

    A Winter Amid the Ice Jules Verne
  • It must have been her doing, else the custos would never have refused such a tempting offer.

    The Maroon Mayne Reid
  • The custos read it all over slowly and carefully, weighing every word.

    No Defense, Complete Gilbert Parker
  • The custos received us with as much freedom as the dignity of his numerous offices would admit of.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus American Anti-Slavery Society
  • The fourth dignitary is the treasurer (custos, sacrista, cheficier).

  • The Tower recognized no authority of jurisdiction except in its own constable, who was qualified as custos turris.

    The Man Who Laughs Victor Hugo
  • There were only two letters in the bag, with a newspaper; and all three were for the custos himself.

    The Maroon Mayne Reid
  • He was custos of the imperial library at Vienna, and was a popular author.

  • Perhaps, after all, the custos may not be so hard with me as with the old Jew—who knows?

    The Maroon Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for custos


noun (pl) custodes (kʌˈstəʊdiːz)
a superior in the Franciscan religious order Also called (in England) guardian
Word Origin
C15: from Latin: keeper, guard
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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