Definition of expurgate
: to cleanse of something morally harmful, offensive, or erroneous; especially : to expunge objectionable parts from before publication or presentation an expurgated edition of the letters
expurgationplay \ˌek-spər-ˈgā-shən\ noun
expurgatorplay \ˈek-spər-ˌgā-tər\ noun
Examples of expurgate in a sentence
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
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of expurgate
Latin expurgatus, past participle of expurgare, from ex- + purgare to purge
First Known Use: 1678
EXPURGATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of expurgate for English Language Learners
: to change (a written work) by removing parts that might offend people
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up expurgate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).