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 Many conservative politicians and pundits have alleged for years that major social media platforms, including Twitter, have a liberal political bias amounting to censorship of conservative opinions. Filippo Menczer, The Conversation, 9 May 2022 Many artists in Russia work for theaters that are fully or partially funded through the Russian state, leaving them particularly vulnerable to censorship. Tami Abdollah, USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2022 In his remarks, Putin went on to compare the current situation with Russian culture in the West to censorship in Nazi Germany. Arnaud Siad, Nathan Hodge And Toyin Owoseje, CNN, 25 Mar. 2022 The general premise is that criticism or public shaming of a person for saying certain things or alleged bad behavior is tantamount to censorship and erasure. Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2022 Local independent news organizations have shuttered or submitted to censorship. NBC News, 14 Mar. 2022 Irish theater was effectively still subject to censorship, but the new plays of Brian Friel hinted at a flowering to come. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, 14 Mar. 2022 On Twitter, some users equated the down-ranking to censorship. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 10 Mar. 2022 And then again in a look with a black bar over the bust area — in a humorous nod to censorship. Thomas Adamson, ajc, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Censorship.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/censorship. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for censorship


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



Legal Definition of censorship

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


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