1. A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable.
2. An official, as in the armed forces, who examines personal mail and official dispatches to remove information considered secret or a risk to security.
3. One that condemns or censures.
4. One of two officials in ancient Rome responsible for taking the public census and supervising public behavior and morals.
5. Psychology The component of the unconscious that is posited by psychoanalytic theory to be responsible for preventing certain thoughts or feelings from reaching the conscious mind.
tr.v. cen·sored, cen·sor·ing, cen·sors
To examine and expurgate.
[Latin cēnsor, Roman censor, from cēnsēre, to assess; see kens- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
cen·sori·al (sĕn-sôrē-əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.