1. A keeping or guarding; care, watch, inspection, for keeping, preservation, or security.
A fleet of thirty ships for the custody of the narrow seas. --Bacon.
2. Judicial or penal safe-keeping.
Jailer, take him to thy custody. --Shak.
3. State of being guarded and watched to prevent escape; restraint of liberty; confinement; imprisonment.
What pease will be given
To us enslaved, but custody severe,
And stripes and arbitrary punishment? --Milton.
n 1: a state of being confined (usually for a short time); "his
detention was politically motivated"; "the prisoner is
on hold"; "he is in the custody of police" [syn: detention,
2: holding by the police; "the suspect is in custody"
3: (with `in') guardianship over; in divorce cases it is the
right to house and care for and discipline a child; "my
fate is in your hands"; "too much power in the president's
hands"; "your guests are now in my custody"; "the mother
was awarded custody of the children" [syn: hands]