censure

noun
cen·​sure | \ ˈsen(t)-shər How to pronounce censure (audio) \

Definition of censure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a judgment involving condemnation unorthodox practices awaiting the censure of the city council
2 : the act of blaming or condemning sternly The country faces international censure for its alleged involvement in the assassination.
3 : an official reprimand The lawyer's misconduct resulted in a letter of censure from the judge.
4 archaic : opinion, judgment

censure

verb
censured; censuring\ ˈsen(t)-​sh(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce censuring (audio) \

Definition of censure (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to find fault with and criticize as blameworthy She would tell him it was … no sign of a good pastor to be eternally censuring his flock.— Charlotte Brontë
b : to formally reprimand (someone) : to express official censure of (someone) While a vote to censure the president has no legal ramifications, it is a significant and rare symbolic vote of disapproval.— Emma Loop
2 obsolete : estimate, judge

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from censure

Verb

censurer \ ˈsen(t)-​shər-​ər How to pronounce censurer (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for censure

Verb

criticize, reprehend, censure, reprobate, condemn, denounce mean to find fault with openly. criticize implies finding fault especially with methods or policies or intentions. criticized the police for using violence reprehend implies both criticism and severe rebuking. reprehends the self-centeredness of today's students censure carries a strong suggestion of authority and of reprimanding. a Senator formally censured by his peers reprobate implies strong disapproval or firm refusal to sanction. reprobated his son's unconventional lifestyle condemn usually suggests an unqualified and final unfavorable judgment. condemned the government's racial policies denounce adds to condemn the implication of a public declaration. a pastoral letter denouncing abortion

Censure Has an Offical Connotation

Verb

Censure and its synonyms criticize, reprehend, condemn, and denounce all essentially mean "to find fault with openly." Additionally, censure carries a strong suggestion of authority and often refers to an official action. Criticize implies finding fault with someone’s methods, policies, or intentions, as in "the commentator criticized the manager’s bullpen strategy." Reprehend implies sharp criticism or disapproval, as in "a teacher who reprehends poor grammar." Condemn usually suggests a final unfavorable judgment, as in "the group condemned the court’s decision to execute the criminal." Denounce adds to condemn the implication of a public declaration, as in "her letter to the editor denounced the corrupt actions of the mayor’s office."

Examples of censure in a Sentence

Noun

The country faces international censure for its alleged involvement in the assassination. a rare censure of a senator by the full United States Senate for misconduct

Verb

He was censured by the committee for his failure to report the problem. a vote to censure the President for conduct that was unbecoming to his office
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tassell said censure's purpose is to address the behavior with the council so it can be corrected. Sam Rosenstiel, Cincinnati.com, "'If you think Trump's got it bad...' Deer Park Councilman reprimanded for personal attacks: says move meant to humiliate," 28 June 2018 The proposed censure agreement made with House managers had been announced earlier Tuesday. Fox News, "4 impeached West Virginia justices to face trials," 12 Sep. 2018 Others have escaped public censure — except, perhaps, in the headlines. Alan Feuer, New York Times, "Tracking Graft, From the Bootlegger to the Mayor," 27 Apr. 2018 In 2004, Chávez passed a law allowing the official censure of outlets by a state watchdog, CONATEL. Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "As it slides toward authoritarianism, Venezuela targets one of its last independent newspapers," 5 July 2018 But there was a time when the line between private and public was unyielding and those who crossed it faced censure. Nancy Mcdonell, WSJ, "The Surprisingly Rich History of Women’s Underwear as Outerwear," 13 Nov. 2018 And there was not a serious conversation with respect to a resolution of censure. Fox News, "Ken Starr: Impeachment is hell," 11 Sep. 2018 The issue is bigger than individuals, and censure alone is not a path forward. Esther Perel, Glamour, "One Crazy Idea to Empower Women? Focus on Men," 12 Dec. 2018 Possible penalties include sanction and censure, a suspended law license and removal from the state bar, according to a spokesman for the New York State Unified Court System, Lucian Chalfen. Liz Robbins, New York Times, "‘Disgusted’ Officials File Complaint Against Man in Anti-Immigrant Rant," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Members make Europe-wide law, decide international agreements, and — crucially — can censure EU countries for violating core values such as an independent judiciary and upholding the rights of minorities and migrants. Lori Hinnant, The Seattle Times, "Tech could unite Europe’s populists ahead of EU vote in May," 19 Feb. 2019 The United Nations Human Rights Council voted last Friday to censure Israel for disproportionate use of force. Herbert Buchsbaum, New York Times, "Israeli Video Portrays Medic Killed in Gaza as Tool of Hamas," 7 June 2018 No lawmaker has been censured for comments made to a newspaper. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "House GOP Removes Steve King From Panels Following Comments on White Supremacy," 14 Jan. 2019 Writers and artists would be censured at the whim of government. Fox News, "Reps. Meadows, Jordan call on Rosenstein to testify," 27 Sep. 2018 Another 37 officials, including the head of China’s drug regulator, were to be censured or held accountable, state media said. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "China Dismisses Vice Governor, Others Over Defective Vaccines," 16 Aug. 2018 Between censuring campaign reporters for their hot takes based on single polls and predicting election results in late-night primaries, Morris tweets about his undergraduate finals and pulling all-nighters with tubs of ice cream. Tara Golshan, Vox, "How a 21-year-old college senior became the breakout star of 2018 election forecasting," 1 June 2018 Sanford was censured by the South Carolina House of Representatives, but served out the remainder of his second term. Fox News, "Trump says South Carolina Rep. Sanford 'better off in Argentina,' endorses primary challenger," 12 June 2018 While the final stage is likely to be vetoed by at least one member, Poland would still suffer a stigma from being censured. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Poland Backs Down on Holocaust Bill After International Criticism," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'censure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of censure

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for censure

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French censure, borrowed from Latin cēnsūa "office of censor, assessment, moral oversight," from cēnsēre "to give as an opinion, perform the duties of a censor" + -ūra -ure — more at censor entry 1

Verb

derivative of censure entry 1, probably after Middle French censurer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about censure

Listen to Our Podcast about censure

Dictionary Entries near censure

censos

censual

censurable

censure

censureless

census

census taker

Statistics for censure

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for censure

The first known use of censure was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for censure

censure

noun

English Language Learners Definition of censure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : official strong criticism

censure

verb

English Language Learners Definition of censure (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : to officially criticize (someone or something) strongly and publicly

censure

noun
cen·​sure | \ ˈsen-shər How to pronounce censure (audio) \

Kids Definition of censure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of finding fault with or blaming
2 : an official criticism

censure

verb
censured; censuring

Kids Definition of censure (Entry 2 of 2)

: to find fault with especially publicly

censure

noun
cen·​sure | \ ˈsen-chər How to pronounce censure (audio) \

Legal Definition of censure

: an expression of official disapproval a House resolution approving a censure of the representative

Other Words from censure

censure transitive verb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on censure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with censure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for censure

Spanish Central: Translation of censure

Nglish: Translation of censure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of censure for Arabic Speakers

Comments on censure

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!