Definition of recension in English:



  • 1A revised edition of a text.

    ‘under the Carolingians new recensions of the code were made’
    • ‘Through their numerous recensions, Sarah's memoirs became more rather than less embittered.’
    • ‘The written text had gone through several recensions by the accepted time of birth of Jesus Christ.’
    • ‘He has a wonderfully readable discussion of the Lord's Prayer in both the recension of Matthew and the one of Luke.’
    • ‘Waugh revised this ending for the 1965 recension of the three works, and decided that Guy and his new wife Domenica should be childless.’
    • ‘The text of the Jnashwari had become corrupted, so he re-edited it, and his recension has remained current to the present day.’
    • ‘The Southern recension of the epic states that in an earlier birth as Nalayani (also named Indrasena) she was married to Maudgalya, an irascible sage afflicted with leprosy.’
    • ‘That this was a serious problem is suggested by the fact that the 1555 recension expands this chapter by noting that failure to comply would result in 40 days imprisonment, a great fine, and loss of the franchise.’
    • ‘Already very old when it was written down, it survives in three main manuscript recensions: in the Book of the Dun Cow, the Book of Leinster, and the Yellow Book of Lecan.’
    • ‘However that may be, Winroth's discovery of a first recension of the Decretum is exciting news.’
    • ‘The fact that for all practical purposes we have only a single recension of the Koran is thus a remarkable testimony to the authority of the early Islamic state.’
    • ‘There are three recensions or regional versions of the Sama Veda.’
    issue, number, volume
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The revision of a text.
      • ‘Although transmission and recension must have left some imprint on these classic works, to the Arab Muslims who conveyed and compiled them they were the epitome of a literary era still fresh in their minds.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘survey, review’): from Latin recensio(n-), from recensere ‘revise’, from re- ‘again’ + censere ‘to review’.