noun Law.

  1. custody(def 4).

noun, plural cus·to·dies.

  1. keeping; guardianship; care.
  2. the keeping or charge of officers of the law: The car was held in the custody of the police.
  3. imprisonment; legal restraint: He was taken into custody.
  4. 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.Compare joint custody, sole custody.

noun plural -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)

mid-15c., from Latin custodia “guarding, watching, keeping,” from custos (genitive custodis) “guardian, keeper, protector,” from PIE *(s)keu- “to cover, conceal” (see hide (n.1)).

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