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 censor (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 censor (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 An institution beholden only to its shareholders should not be the world's de facto publisher, censor, and private intelligence service. Matthew Walther, TheWeek, "The worst argument against breaking up Facebook," 14 Dec. 2020 These attacks and others like them have led at least some scientists to self-censor, for fear their contrarian positions would leave them open to reputational damage that could potentially threaten their careers. Jeanne Lenzer, Scientific American, "The COVID Science Wars," 30 Nov. 2020 After the story broke, Facebook and Twitter moved to censor links to the report. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "'lllegal election interference': Conservatives livid with Facebook and Twitter for censoring New York Post story on Biden family business dealings," 15 Oct. 2020 China’s government employs to block foreign websites and censor sensitive content. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "A Chinese app managed to scale China’s Great Firewall, then got taken down," 12 Oct. 2020 In either scenario, ByteDance would maintain control of the company's most valuable software — a sticking point for U.S. officials who remain concerned about China's ability to use the app to access American users' data and censor content. NBC News, "TikTok asks judge to block Trump ban," 23 Sep. 2020 The urge to censor is at the heart of Clinton’s demands. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Facebook’s Unenviable Position," 18 Sep. 2020 Authorities have also expressed concern that it could be used to collect personal data on US citizens, or censor speech deemed to be sensitive by the Chinese government. Brian Fung And Selina Wang, CNN, "TikTok will partner with Oracle in the United States after Microsoft loses bid," 14 Sep. 2020 The decision comes after the platform has come under fire for refusing to censor, fact check or remove certain political content for years. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Facebook won't allow new political ads the week before the November Presidential election," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Earlier in the week, Gebru had also implied Google managers were attempting to censor her work or bury her concerns about ethical issues in the company’s A.I. systems. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Google ethics researcher’s departure renews worries the company is silencing whistleblowers," 3 Dec. 2020 In those cases, the demands to censor trans books may not necessarily be coming from the government itself. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "The Dangerous Inversions of the Debate Around Trans “Censorship”," 23 Nov. 2020 In 1990, music executive Jeff Ayeroff had been growing increasingly frustrated at the effort by Washington politicians to censor artists in his industry. Stephen Battaglio Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "In 1990, Rock the Vote and Madonna shook up politics. Will the youth vote do the same in 2020?," 28 Oct. 2020 Hayes pointed his viewers to CloutHub, a social media platform that vows to not censor its users’ writings. Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona-based QAnon interpreter, militia mobilizer, other pages taken off of Facebook during crackdown," 9 Oct. 2020 Republican senators, meanwhile, are moving to limit Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which largely shields digital platforms from liability for their users’ online activities, alleging the companies censor conservative viewpoints. John D. Mckinnon, WSJ, "These Are the U.S. Antitrust Cases Facing Google, Facebook and Others," 16 Dec. 2020 Kanter initially told the committee that TikTok does not censor content. Ben Westcott, CNN, "TikTok exec says she 'misspoke' in hearing about the app censoring Xinjiang content," 6 Nov. 2020 Tech giants of Silicon Valley have long been the subject of ire for conservatives who say social media companies are more likely to censor or issue warning labels to Republicans and right-leaning content than left. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "House Judiciary Republicans say Twitter blocked them from sharing Hunter Biden story from their website," 15 Oct. 2020 Efforts to censor, cancel, discredit, or destroy the work of anyone with contrasting viewpoints are canonized by the wealthy, powerful left-wing elites and their institutions. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Progressives Are No Longer Defenders of Free Expression," 3 Dec. 2020

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

26 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Censor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/censor. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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 censor (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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Comments on censor

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