Take Our 10-Question Quiz
Lookups on Merriam-Webster spiked on November 18, 2010.
Representative Charles Rangel was found guilty of ethics violations including improper fundraising and unpaid taxes.
As this story unfolded, censure was used a couple of ways: as a verb that means "to find fault with and criticize as blameworthy" (e.g.,"The House ethics committee recommended that Representative Charles B. Rangel be formally censured for ethical misconduct"), and as a noun that means "an official reprimand" (e.g., "Censure requires full approval of the House").
Censure comes directly from the Latin word that means "to assess," making it a relative of census.