custody - definition and synonyms

noun [uncountable] 

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  1. 1
    legal the legal right to look after a child

    The parents have joint custody of their children (=both parents will look after the children).

    The girl’s father was awarded sole custody.

  2. 2
    legal a situation in which someone is kept in prison until they go to court for trial
    be in custody:

    One of the men detained is still in custody.

    hold/keep someone in custody:

    Suspects can be kept in police custody for up to 48 hours.

    take someone into custody:

    The suspect had been taken into custody and was being questioned.

  3. 3
    the protection or care of someone or something
    in someone’s custody:

    The files in question are in the custody of the FBI.