censor

noun
cen·​sor | \ ˈsen(t)-sər How to pronounce censor (audio) \

Definition of censor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who supervises conduct and morals: such as
a : an official who examines materials (such as publications or films) for objectionable matter Government censors deleted all references to the protest.
b : an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (such as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful
2 : one of two magistrates of early Rome acting as census takers, assessors, and inspectors of morals and conduct Cato the Censor accused Africanus and his senior officers of running an army riddled with moral laxity— Colleen McCullough
3 : a hypothetical psychic agency that represses unacceptable notions before they reach consciousness

censor

verb
censored; censoring\ ˈsen(t)-​sə-​riŋ How to pronounce censoring (audio) , ˈsen(t)s-​riŋ \

Definition of censor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to examine in order to suppress (see suppress sense 2) or delete anything considered objectionable censor the news also : to suppress or delete as objectionable censor out indecent passages

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Other Words from censor

Noun

censorial \ sen-​ˈsȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce censorial (audio) \ adjective

Examples of censor in a Sentence

Noun

Government censors deleted all references to the protest.

Verb

The station censored her speech before broadcasting it. His report was heavily censored.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

New Zealand has laws against holding or distributing material deemed objectionable by the censor. Charlotte Graham-mclay, BostonGlobe.com, "New Zealand man gets 21 months for sharing video of Christchurch attacks," 18 June 2019 This production casts a live performer (Selina Woolery Smith) as the corpse, rather than use a stage dummy as was dictated by the early British censor. F. Kathleen Foley, latimes.com, "Review: Joe Orton’s ‘Loot’ cuts with softened edges at the Odyssey," 14 June 2019 Some on the mainland were able to circumvent censors by posting inverted or distorted images of the protests. Keith Bradsher, BostonGlobe.com, "China backs Hong Kong’s leader despite huge protests," 17 June 2019 The Samoan government banned the acclaimed Elton John film from screening in the South Pacific island country, according to Samoa’s principal censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Rocketman banned in Samoa over depictions of homosexuality," 11 June 2019 Truffaut sharply reproached established French filmmakers for complaining about pressure from producers or from official censors. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Truffaut Essays That Clear Up Misguided Notions of Auteurism," 8 June 2019 Within minutes, numerous clips, GIFs and recreations of the eye roll began to spread like wildfire across the Chinese internet, prompting censors to suppress its spread and banning Liang's name from online search results. Steven Jiang, CNN, "Reporter's viral eye roll causes trouble with Chinese censors," 14 Mar. 2018 But feminists have worked to counter censors: As the hashtag #MeToo came under fire, women started using homonym hashtags. Karen Yuan, The Atlantic, "#MeToo With Chinese Characteristics," 5 Feb. 2018 BBC News pointed out that Samoan censors previously banned Harvey Milk biopic Milk in 2009 for LGBTQ content and The Da Vinci Code, the adaptation of the Dan Brown book, in 2006 over a conflict with the country’s religious beliefs. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Rocketman banned in Samoa over depictions of homosexuality," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The White House announced its plans minutes after Trump last week newly accused Twitter of censoring him and alleged that Google rigs elections. Tony Romm, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Trump invites conservative tech critics to White House for 'social media summit'," 2 July 2019 China’s government, meanwhile, was evidently not happy about the protests, censoring them heavily on the mainland. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Nike reportedly halted a shoe release in China after its co-designer supported Hong Kong protesters," 26 June 2019 More than 5 million people signed an online petition trying to prevent the directive from passing, saying the measures would unfairly censor posts online. Raf Casert, The Seattle Times, "EU parliament backs copyright bill targeting US tech giants," 27 Mar. 2019 Today’s decision stands to inflame ongoing debates over tech’s role in censoring violence and hate speech and fuel allegations that tech companies are biased against conservatives. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Amazon was the only tech giant called out on the debate stage," 27 June 2019 Indeed, for all the corporate pandering the community receives this time of year, images — even the very notion — of gay sexuality are being censored on online platforms like never before. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Social-Media Censors vs. Gays," 26 June 2019 The usual cries came up—that the standards of judgment are incurably subjective, that if the law started making judgments of this kind, the government would have a license for censoring... Hadley Arkes, WSJ, "The Business That Dare Not Speak Its Name," 25 Apr. 2019 Merton’s superiors tried to restrain him, mainly by censoring his writings. Garry Wills, Harper's magazine, "Shallow Calls to Shallow," 10 Apr. 2019 Television stations also are barred from censoring or altering the content of any political ad. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Georgia candidate Kemp triggers uproar with shotgun ad," 2 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'censor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of censor

Noun

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1882, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for censor

Noun

borrowed from Latin cēnsor "Roman magistrate tasked with registering citizens, removing persons from the register whose conduct was found wanting, and leasing public contracts," from cēnsēre "to give as an opinion, assess, appraise, perform the duties of a censor" (going back to an Indo-European verbal base *ḱems- "announce, evaluate publicly," whence Sanskrit śaṁati "declares solemnly, praises," Avestan sənghaitī "announces, names") + -tor, agent suffix

Verb

derivative of censor entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near censor

censitaire

censive

censo

censor

censorable

censorate

censored

Statistics for censor

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for censor

The first known use of censor was in 1526

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More Definitions for censor

censor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of censor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who examines books, movies, letters, etc., and removes things that are considered to be offensive, immoral, harmful to society, etc.

censor

verb

English Language Learners Definition of censor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to examine books, movies, letters, etc., in order to remove things that are considered to be offensive, immoral, harmful to society, etc.

censor

noun
cen·​sor | \ ˈsen-sər How to pronounce censor (audio) \

Kids Definition of censor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an official who checks writings or movies to take out things considered offensive or immoral

censor

verb
censored; censoring

Kids Definition of censor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to examine (as a book) to take out things considered offensive or immoral

censor

noun
cen·​sor | \ ˈsen(t)-sər How to pronounce censor (audio) \

Medical Definition of censor

: a hypothetical psychic agency that represses unacceptable notions before they reach consciousness

Other Words from censor

censorial \ sen-​ˈsōr-​ē-​əl, -​ˈsȯr-​ How to pronounce censorial (audio) \ adjective

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cen·​sor

Legal Definition of censor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to examine (as a publication or film) in order to suppress or delete any contents considered objectionable

censor

noun

Legal Definition of censor (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that censors

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More from Merriam-Webster on censor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with censor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for censor

Spanish Central: Translation of censor

Nglish: Translation of censor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of censor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about censor

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