cen·​so·​ri·​ous | \ sen-ˈsȯr-ē-əs How to pronounce censorious (audio) \

Definition of censorious

: marked by or given to censure (see censure entry 1 sense 2) censorious comments a censorious critic

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from censorious

censoriously adverb
censoriousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for censorious

critical, hypercritical, faultfinding, captious, carping, censorious mean inclined to look for and point out faults and defects. critical may also imply an effort to see a thing clearly and truly in order to judge it fairly. a critical essay hypercritical suggests a tendency to judge by unreasonably strict standards. hypercritical disparagement of other people's work faultfinding implies a querulous or exacting temperament. a faultfinding reviewer captious suggests a readiness to detect trivial faults or raise objections on trivial grounds. a captious critic carping implies an ill-natured or perverse picking of flaws. a carping editorial censorious implies a disposition to be severely critical and condemnatory. the censorious tone of the review

Examples of censorious in a Sentence

The stunt earned her the scorn of her censorious older sister. I was surprised by the censorious tone of the book review.

Recent Examples on the Web

But, really, what if the judgmental media, from HBO and insensitive pundits to censorious radio stations, had all had their way earlier this year and we were forced to live in a world without Michael Jackson’s great art? Armond White, National Review, "Yesterday Is Cynical, Fake Nostalgia," 28 June 2019 In the late 1920s and early 1930s, before the enforcement of the censorious Hays Code, film studios competed over whose movies could be the most daring, and delighted in sneaking naughty material past local decency boards. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, "Sex is disappearing from the big screen, and it’s making movies less pleasurable," 7 June 2019 Still, to current and former staffers, the scrubbing of the Mouw and Graves-Fitzsimmons columns became an example of censorious overreach by an inexperienced publisher and an overzealous board. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Inside the Spectacular Implosion of Religion News Service," 27 Apr. 2018 Perhaps the censorious tone is exaggerated by the translation from the German original, but I was left wondering whether Brunner actually likes birds, bird people, or even people in general. Richard O. Prum, New York Times, "The Passion and Peril of Birding," 23 Jan. 2018 But as Xiomara wrestles to embrace her independence and nascent sexuality in the face of a censorious, extremely religious mother, The Poet X eventually reveals itself as a rhythmic literalization of a young woman finding her voice. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018 Andrea, by contrast, keeps her own feelings at arm’s length while permitting herself to slink around with him, out of view of her censorious and gossip-loving friends. Christine Sneed, New York Times, "She’s Here, She’s Queer, She’s Figuring Out What That Means," 11 Apr. 2018 But other Protestant intellectuals broke with the censorious mind-set. Linda Gordon, The New Republic, "How birth-control leaders found allies in American religious groups," 5 Apr. 2018 His entourage gathered around the book for a long moment, until Mr. Boyega wrinkled his nose and ran a censorious finger along the image of his untidy hairline. Ben Widdicombe, New York Times, "How John Boyega Went From ‘Star Wars’ Stormtrooper to Sci-Fi Producer," 28 Feb. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of censorious

1536, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for censorious

borrowed from Latin cēnsōrius "of a censor, severe," derivative of cēnsor censor entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about censorious

Dictionary Entries near censorious








Statistics for censorious

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for censorious

The first known use of censorious was in 1536

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for censorious



English Language Learners Definition of censorious

formal : having or showing a tendency to criticize someone or something severely : very critical

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on censorious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with censorious

Spanish Central: Translation of censorious

Nglish: Translation of censorious for Spanish Speakers

Comments on censorious

What made you want to look up censorious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!