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

Because insofar as social-media platforms have become extensions of our very beings, censorship of our lives on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram is a violation of our freedom of speech. Sam Sweeney, National Review, "Close Your Social-Media Accounts," 10 June 2019 Withholding facts from the public goes against many journalists’ instincts, and feels uncomfortably like self-censorship. Corinne Purtill, Quartz, "A small change in the way we talk about mass shootings could help prevent them," 4 June 2019 Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor oversees MRC TechWatch – a new project dedicated to exposing incidents of bias and censorship online by major tech companies. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Google CEO to meet GOP lawmakers regarding alleged bias against conservatives," 28 Sep. 2018 Spotify removed both musicians’ work from its editorial playlists, but drew industrywide complaints that its policy amounted to a blunt form of censorship. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "Hero or Villain? Death of Rapper XXXTentacion Divides the Internet," 19 June 2018 Part of China's strategy has been forcing online services operating in China to comply with Chinese censorship laws. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Google employees demand that Google stop work on censored Chinese search," 27 Nov. 2018 Mainframe, a decentralized network for censorship resistance, has donated 1,000 ether (worth approximately $542,000) to the foundation. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "The Freedom of Press Foundation Is Now Accepting Cryptocurrency," 19 June 2018 Netblocks, a non-government group based in Europe that monitors internet censorship, said the latest outage left just 10 percent of Venezuela’s telecommunications infrastructure online. Christopher Torchia, The Seattle Times, "Red Cross ready to aid Venezuela, warns against politics," 29 Mar. 2019 The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court in Maryland Tuesday against several intelligence leaders, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, argues the system of pre-publication review amounts to unconstitutional censorship. ... Byron Tau, WSJ, "Ex-Intelligence, Military Officials Sue Over Manuscript Screening Rules," 2 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for censorship

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for censorship

The first known use of censorship was circa 1591

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on censorship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with censorship

Spanish Central: Translation of censorship

Nglish: Translation of censorship for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of censorship for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about censorship

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behavior toward others

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