Censor



an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.
any person who supervises the manners or morality of others.
an adverse critic; faultfinder.
(in the ancient Roman republic) either of two officials who kept the register or census of the citizens, awarded public contracts, and supervised manners and morals.
(in early Freudian dream theory) the force that represses ideas, impulses, and feelings, and prevents them from entering consciousness in their original, undisguised forms.
to examine and act upon as a censor.
to delete (a word or passage of text) in one’s capacity as a censor.
Contemporary Examples

The studio seemed to be satisfied with the results—although still opted to censor the death sequence in many foreign territories.
Exclusive: Sony Emails Say State Department Blessed Kim Jong-Un Assassination in ‘The Interview’ William Boot December 16, 2014

As the editor of a Bombay magazine during the Emergency, Mehta was a target of the censor.
Hold Onto Your Penis David Frum, Justin Green November 28, 2012

“I found it really intrusive,” she said of the unilateral move to censor her work.
Who Knew there were Breasts Under that Burka? Noah Kristula-Green April 12, 2012

Bradlee explained that, “We do not censor comics, and I have passed your letter on to Mr. Johnson in care of the syndicate.”
Dear Asshole: The Letters of Ben Bradlee From New Biography Matthew DeLuca May 11, 2012

Stations have to allow campaigns for federal office to buy time and cannot censor their ads, regardless of content.
Is Super PACs’ Influence on the 2012 Presidential Election Overhyped? Ben Jacobs February 15, 2012

Historical Examples

There was a light burning in the window of the censor’s room.
Now It Can Be Told Philip Gibbs

There would seem to be no limit to the influence of the censor.
Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, December 9, 1914 Various

It was from the senate that he received the ancient titles of the republic–of consul, tribune, pontiff, and censor.
The World’s Greatest Books, Vol XI. Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

Several bridges were also erected, and Cato the censor is said to have built a basilica.
Architecture Thomas Roger Smith

In 184 he was censor along with Flaccus, who seems to have allowed his colleague full liberty of action.
Cato Maior de Senectute Marcus Tullius Cicero

noun
a person authorized to examine publications, theatrical presentations, films, letters, etc, in order to suppress in whole or part those considered obscene, politically unacceptable, etc
any person who controls or suppresses the behaviour of others, usually on moral grounds
(in republican Rome) either of two senior magistrates elected to keep the list of citizens up to date, control aspects of public finance, and supervise public morals
(psychoanal) the postulated factor responsible for regulating the translation of ideas and desires from the unconscious to the conscious mind See also superego
verb (transitive)
to ban or cut portions of (a publication, film, letter, etc)
to act as a censor of (behaviour, etc)
n.

1530s, “Roman magistrate who took censuses and oversaw public morals,” from Middle French censor and directly from Latin censor, from censere “to appraise, value, judge,” from PIE root *kens- “speak solemnly, announce” (cf. Sanskrit śamsati “recites, praises,” śasa “song of praise”).

There were two of them at a time in classical times, usually patricians, and they also had charge of public finances and public works. Transferred sense of “officious judge of morals and conduct” in English is from 1590s. Roman censor also had a transferred sense of “a severe judge; a rigid moralist; a censurer.” Of books, plays (later films, etc.), 1640s. By the early decades of the 19c. the meaning of the English word had shaded into “state agent charged with suppression of speech or published matter deemed politically subversive.” Related: Censorial.
v.

1833 of media, from censor (n.). Related: Censored; censoring.

censor cen·sor (sěn’sər)
n.
The hypothetical agent in the unconscious mind that is responsible for suppressing unconscious thoughts and wishes.

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