Definition of expurgate
- an expurgated edition of the letters
They felt it was necessary to expurgate his letters before publishing them.
the newspaper had to expurgate the expletive-laden speech that the criminal made upon being sentenced to life imprisonment
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Expurgation has a long and questionable history. Perhaps history's most famous expurgator, or censor, was the English editor Thomas Bowdler, who in 1818 published the Family Shakespeare, an expurgated edition of Shakespeare's plays that omitted or changed any passages that, in Bowdler's opinion, couldn't decently be read aloud in a family. As a result, the term bowdlerize is now a synonym of expurgate.
First Known Use: 1678See Words from the same year
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having a quality expressive of sadness
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