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 In addition, Beijing exerts control over much of Australia’s Chinese-language media through advertising and pressure to self-censor, and Chinese officials are reported to have Chinese students enrolled at Australian universities. Washington Post, "Dissident artist known as ‘China’s Banksy’ takes aim at Beijing — from Australia," 18 Feb. 2020 Dragons offensive lineman Dillon Day failed to self-censor on air. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Five things we learned from the XFL's opening game: Trading gimmicks for innovation was wise," 9 Feb. 2020 Iraq's constitution ensures freedom of the press, but Iraq remains one of the world's deadliest countries for journalists and many journalists self-censor, according to a study by Freedom House. Dan Perry, The Christian Science Monitor, "Seven years after Arab Spring, democracy wavers in Middle East," 22 Mar. 2018 Most cannot access the internet or any information from the outside world that has not been approved by state censors. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "All of its neighbors have it, so why hasn't North Korea reported any coronavirus cases?," 6 Feb. 2020 Micheaux’s films were invariably cut and altered by censors. Time, "6 Films to Watch for Black History Month, Recommended by an Expert," 31 Jan. 2020 The ceremony began on a frothy and obscene note, as the returning host, the British comedian Ricky Gervais, cracked numerous jokes that were bleeped by NBC censors. Nicole Sperling, New York Times, "‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ and ‘1917’ Win Top Awards at Golden Globes," 5 Jan. 2020 People in Taiwan are jauntily amused that a new film adaptation of Winnie the Pooh, along with images of the famous cartoon bear, were blocked by Xi’s censors because people have noted a resemblance of the bear’s face to Xi’s. George F. Will, The Denver Post, "Will: Hong Kong’s resistance offers lessons for Taiwan," 22 Sep. 2019 People here are jauntily amused that a new film adaptation of Winnie the Pooh, along with images of the famous cartoon bear, were blocked by Xi’s censors because people have noted a resemblance of the bear’s face to Xi’s. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Hong Kong’s resistance offers lessons for Taiwan," 22 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The actor claimed that Twitter was unfairly censoring his account because of his conservative views. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "‘I’m back’: James Woods trashes AOC and the Clintons in return to Twitter," 7 Feb. 2020 After all, the Nazis shamelessly exploited the press freedom of the Weimar Republic to spread their propaganda, only to ruthlessly censor their opponents once in power in 1933. The Economist, "Even noxious ideas need airing—censorship only makes them stronger," 31 Jan. 2020 That will become a reason for the authorities to crack down and censor. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "“Thankfully there’s no censorship on OTT, but sensationalism will only provoke authorities”," 23 Jan. 2020 The work—which involves screening and censoring videos that depict unconscionable depravity—can cause lasting mental health damage. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "You Tell Us: Should People Use Facial Recognition?," 18 Dec. 2019 Requiring judges to be monks is a step too far. The Committee’s speech- and association-censoring approach simply cannot be reconciled with the First Amendment. David B. Rivkin Jr. And Andrew M. Grossman, WSJ, "Shut Up, They Advised," 3 Feb. 2020 The head of an effective security service can easily become either a rival for the top spot or a self-censoring information block, neither of which bodes well for the boss. The Economist, "Can technology plan economies and destroy democracy?," 18 Dec. 2019 Another contributing factor may be that more journalists are self-censoring for fear of reprisals over their work, the organization said. John D'anna, azcentral, "Killings of journalists decline, but 2019 was still a deadly year," 17 Dec. 2019 His flaw was a lack of patience with his own deeply felt humanism, self-censoring even his love of Beethoven in pursuit of the public good. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Field Guide to Tyranny," 16 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for censor

Time Traveler

The first known use of censor was in 1526

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Statistics for censor

Last Updated

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Censor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/censor. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for censor

censor

noun
How to pronounce censor (audio)

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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