cen·​sor·​ship | \ ˈsen(t)-sər-ˌship How to pronounce censorship (audio) \

Definition of censorship

1a : the institution, system, or practice of censoring They oppose government censorship.
b : the actions or practices of censors especially : censorial control exercised repressively censorship that has … permitted a very limited dispersion of facts — Philip Wylie
2 : the office, power, or term of a Roman censor
3 : exclusion from consciousness by the psychic censor

Examples of censorship in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rokita said such censorship could prevent consumers from making informed choices. Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner, "Indiana attorney general to investigate whether Big Tech is censoring conservative viewpoints," 7 Apr. 2021 Coming of age at a time of forbidden books and strict censorship, when some writers were regarded as outlaws, I was greatly drawn to this apparent subversion. Paul Theroux, The New Yorker, "Facing Ka‘ena Point: On Turning Eighty," 6 Apr. 2021 Like any conversation involving Cubans and the media, this one also includes censorship. Suanny Garcia Barales, refinery29.com, "It’s Nearly Impossible To Be An Influencer In Cuba. This YouTuber Is Doing It Anyway.," 2 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, China’s censorship has become increasingly systematical and professional. Quartz Staff, Quartz, "With a Google spreadsheet, a web sleuth tracks the comments that get people jailed in China," 31 Mar. 2021 As a result, identity politics now runs rampant, such that no objective debate can occur because of overwhelming affectual censorship. Tristan Yang, National Review, "Columbia University’s Ultra-Woke Idea: Segregated Graduation Ceremonies," 23 Mar. 2021 When Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee do the same, apparently it’s censorship. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Garcia: Chip Roy's weird homage to lynching," 20 Mar. 2021 The center, one of more than 50 across the United States, has been a source of controversy at Tufts for years over concerns that the institutes promote censorship abroad and undermine human rights. Laura Krantz, BostonGlobe.com, "Tufts to close its China-funded Confucius Institute," 17 Mar. 2021 As the numbers of people protesting against the government in person has dwindled in recent months, censorship of social media platforms has become the main battlefield for Russians’ hearts and minds. Daria Solovieva, Fortune, "Why Russia is cracking down on U.S. social media," 17 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'censorship.' 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 censorship

circa 1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for censorship

censor entry 1 + -ship

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Time Traveler for censorship

Time Traveler

The first known use of censorship was circa 1591

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Statistics for censorship

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Censorship.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/censorship. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for censorship



English Language Learners Definition of censorship

: the system or practice of censoring books, movies, letters, etc.


cen·​sor·​ship | \ ˈsen-sər-ˌship How to pronounce censorship (audio) \

Kids Definition of censorship

: the system or practice of examining writings or movies and taking out things considered offensive or immoral


cen·​sor·​ship | \ ˈsen(t)-sər-ˌship How to pronounce censorship (audio) \

Medical Definition of censorship

: exclusion from consciousness by the psychic censor

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Legal Definition of censorship

: the institution, system, or practice of censoring — compare freedom of speech, prior restraint

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Comments on censorship

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