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

This was the year when Big Tech companies were humbled, their reputations tarnished, and their share prices clobbered by a tidal wave of political outrage over misinformation, censorship, and data abuse. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Beware the Big Tech Backlash," 19 Dec. 2018 All right, joining me now with reaction to my open, and to discuss the vital issue of conservative censorship, House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy. Fox News, "Carter Page reacts to calls to declassify FISA documents," 15 Sep. 2018 Diane Douglas threatened teachers with censorship and stripping of their certifications. Michael Livingston, latimes.com, "Teacher walkouts in Arizona and Colorado continue national debate on money for schools," 27 Apr. 2018 Murphy’s Twitter account was filled with negative reaction to his call for additional censorship. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Sen. Chris Murphy calls for more Silicon Valley censorship: 'Survival of our democracy depends on it'," 7 Aug. 2018 The sanction designations come alongside a U.S. State Department report on human-rights abuses and censorship in North Korea. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "U.S. Targets North Korean Censorship With Sanctions," 10 Dec. 2018 Google's Dragonfly app would allow the company access to a market that has mainly subsisted on homegrown and censorship-friendly internet products, like the search engine Baidu. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Google Employees Sign Protest Letter Against Secretive Chinese Search Engine," 27 Nov. 2018 And Smith notes that there are types of censorship users support. Katy Steinmetz, Time, "Americans Believe Tech Companies Are Censoring Political Views, New Poll Finds," 28 June 2018 Newsletter Sign-up A Sputnik representative said the company’s journalists focus on only news, and that Facebook’s decision to block some of its pages is tantamount to political censorship. Stu Woo, WSJ, "Facebook Pulls More Russia-Linked Accounts," 17 Jan. 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

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for censorship

The first known use of censorship was circa 1591

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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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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

Comments on censorship

What made you want to look up censorship? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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