Merriam Webster's definition of tailor-made comes very counterintuitive:

factory made rather than hand-rolled

Shouldn't it be the other way around? All other dictionaries I have consulted, even other definitions on MW, contradict this definition. The ODO for example defines the word as Made, adapted, or suited for a particular purpose or person. Then how could it be factory made?


The usage of the definition there (the third listed on the site) is specific to cigarettes, as shown in the example that they give. This is why "hand-rolled" is also used in the definition. Hand-rolling is not a general term that can apply to all product creation techniques.

  • So you are saying in a cigarette-specific context, the meaning is the opposite of other usages of the word? – Eddie Kal May 18 '18 at 2:02
  • Yes, that's the case. It's a narrow definition. – LeeV May 18 '18 at 2:05
  • That makes sense. Some sources to back it up would be very helpful. – Eddie Kal May 18 '18 at 2:13
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    I don't know if I have a better source than a dictionary... but here's of an example of tailor-made being used as the opposite of hand-rolled nhs.uk/news/heart-and-lungs/… If you google, you'll see "straights" and "tailor-mades" used for the opposite of the hand-rolled cigarettes. These are colloquial so they may not be used by many official sources. – LeeV May 18 '18 at 2:17
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    Here's a second source for the cigarette sense : idioms.thefreedictionary.com/tailor-made - slang A cigarette that is machine-made, rather than hand-rolled. Don't you have any tailor-made smokes? – ColleenV May 18 '18 at 2:23

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