transitive verb \ˈbōd-lə-ˌrīz, ˈbad-\

: to change (a book, play, movie, etc.) by removing parts that could offend people

bowd·ler·ized bowd·ler·iz·ing

Full Definition of BOWDLERIZE

:  to expurgate (as a book) by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar
:  to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in style or content
bowd·ler·i·za·tion \ˌbōd-lə-rə-ˈzā-shən, ˌbad-\ noun
bowd·ler·iz·er noun

Examples of BOWDLERIZE

  1. bowdlerize a classic novel by removing offensive language
  2. <a bowdlerized version of Gulliver's Travels that purportedly makes it unobjectionable for children>


Thomas Bowdler †1825 English editor
First Known Use: 1836

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody


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