cen·​sor·​ship | \ ˈsen(t)-sər-ˌship \

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

On the one hand, companies such as Google and Facebook have amassed enormous amounts of power, and their practices with regard to data, competition, and censorship deserve scrutiny. Emily Stewart, Vox, "There are lots of reasons to worry about Google. Congress just picked the wrong one.," 12 Dec. 2018 Everything in the museum is rated G and PG, with the exception of a basement suite called The Blue Room, which tackles edgier topics like censorship, taboo, and free speech. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Condé Nast Traveler, "The National Comedy Center Is an Unlikely Attraction That's Putting Western New York Back on the Map," 13 Sep. 2018 First, there are concerns about promoting censorship and state control in China with Project Dragonfly. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Google CEO to meet GOP lawmakers regarding alleged bias against conservatives," 28 Sep. 2018 This version was twice presented for censorship before the Grand Jury of Middlesex as a public nuisance. Stephen Miller, WSJ, "Economic Liberty Turns Vice Into Virtue," 14 Nov. 2018 These groups agree with Google that forcing internet companies to remove website links threatens access to information and could pave the way for censorship by more authoritarian regimes such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Kelvin Chan, The Seattle Times, "Google case set to examine if EU data rules extend globally," 10 Sep. 2018 It has been directly affected by the Chinese government’s recent ramp-up of internet censorship, but also indirectly because of troubles at some of its largest advertising clients: Gaming companies. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Weibo Continues to Show Twitter the Way," 29 Nov. 2018 The censorship became apparent after early access to Madden 19 went live for EA Origin subscribers that day, and the game's version specifically silences Big Sean's reference to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "EA issues apology after removing Kaepernick’s name from song in Madden 19 [Updated]," 3 Aug. 2018 Those and similar platform bans have in turn become a rallying cry for the far right, who often both mask their positions and seek broader sympathy by positioning themselves as victims of censorship by digital platforms. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Amazon Sold Books, Backpacks, and Toys Promoting Hate to Kids, Report Shows," 7 July 2018

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

16 Jan 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 \

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 \

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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a complex dispute or argument

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