censor

noun
cen·​sor | \ˈsen(t)-sər \

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 , 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 \ 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

The phone number was rapidly unraveled to its component parts, spliced and digested into a series of jokes, images and even puzzles designed to continue sharing the number while dodging Twitter’s censors. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Was it right to dox Stephen Miller? That’s the wrong question," 27 June 2018 Its appeal has prompted Communist Party outfits to set up accounts, and, on one occasion, state censors to place restrictions on it. The Economist, "A Chinese music-video app is making WeChat sweat," 12 July 2018 The most obvious reason is regulatory: China has no official ratings system, and the country's notoriously strict censors only permit the release of films deemed acceptable to audiences of all ages. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Blumhouse Teams With Tang Media Partners to Make Horror Movies for China (Exclusive)," 18 June 2018 An Allegiant Air flight from Orlando-Sanford International Airport was diverted to Knoxville, Tenn. on Monday after a warning censor came on, according to a spokeswoman. David Harris, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Warning censor diverts Allegiant flight from Sanford," 30 Apr. 2018 Despite censors, Chinese internet chat rooms for veterans are still lively with talk of the various protests. Chris Buckley, New York Times, "Marching Across China, Army Veterans Join Ranks of Protesters," 25 June 2018 In addition to encountering rancor from Italian censors, Playmen also was frequently challenged by Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy. refinery29.com, "The Risqué Italian Magazine That J. Paul Getty III Appeared In Has A Controversial History," 26 Mar. 2018 The site incurred the wrath of censors because of a video posted on the site in 2014 and recently reposted on news aggregator Jinri Toutiao. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "China bans a popular rage comics website for making fun of a communist hero," 18 May 2018 But through its size and some symbological ingenuity, the young, active community has found a way to stay one step ahead of would-be censors. Margaret Andersen, WIRED, "How Feminists in China Are Using Emoji to Avoid Censorship," 30 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Qatar sometimes censors international news outlets. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "The 2022 World Cup Plants Some Trees and Prepares to Step Into the Spotlight," 12 July 2018 Under his rule, the press was censored and political activity regulated; there was an extensive police network. Allan Massie, WSJ, "‘The Shadow Emperor’ Review: The Other Bonaparte," 29 May 2018 Winnie the Pooh was censored in 2013, according to CNN, because the honey-loving bear cartoon was reportedly likened to President Xi Jinping and used to criticize the ruler. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, "Peppa Pig Banned on Chinese App for Being Too 'Gangster': Reports," 1 May 2018 In 2016, Facebook was criticized for censoring a famous Pulitzer Prize-winning image of a 9-year-old fleeing from napalm. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Facebook says removal of Declaration of Independence from Texas newspaper's page was a mistake," 5 July 2018 During this year's Eurovision Song Contest — a long-running competition between European countries — Chinese online broadcaster Mango TV reportedly censored out portions of Ireland's entry to the competition. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Eurovision Has Blocked China From Watching This Year's Contest," 11 May 2018 Diamond and Silk have turned these incidents into branding opportunities, claiming they were censored. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Why Facebook Is Desperate for Conservative Allies," 4 May 2018 The bill had been advocated for this year by student journalists from Plainfield High School, who say they're being censored by their principal and school administrators. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "For first time, Indiana special education students could receive alternate diploma," 5 Feb. 2018 If the Court’s opinion results in a win for an individual plaintiff but establishes a precedent that ultimately grants the state greater leeway to censor American citizens, then in a real way liberty loses. David French, National Review, "The Trump Administration’s Dangerous Free-Speech Brief," 19 Jan. 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

censorian

Statistics for censor

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

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 \

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 \

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-​ \ 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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