Definition of censure in English:



  • Express severe disapproval of (someone or something), typically in a formal statement.

    ‘a judge was censured in 1983 for a variety of types of injudicious conduct’
    • ‘In 2004, he published a controversial book censuring the power of the media in Britain.’
    • ‘Charney has been criticised for paradoxically censuring the exploitation of the worker, while pushing the instrumental use of sexuality and women.’
    • ‘However, there is no reason why a human system for judging and formally censuring the behaviour of others should be a slave to the vagaries of chance.’
    • ‘Female students were censured for eating apples ‘too seductively’ in public.’
    • ‘Meanwhile he had been recalled to Adelaide and summoned before a Royal Commission where he was censured and criticized.’
    • ‘It could have expressed dismay at Pringle's obvious lack of race awareness, censured him, and sent him on a training course.’
    • ‘Broadcast watchdogs have censured him for swearing on his former BBC Radio 1 afternoon show.’
    • ‘Her look censured his absence from the homestay - and her - the previous day.’
    • ‘The external relations officer asserted that if the board censured him, they would be preventing him from fulfilling his duties.’
    • ‘But I don't think that censuring the white authors is the answer.’
    • ‘Chao also pointed to the Ministry of Finance for ‘lapses in its supervisory responsibilities,’ adding that the Control Yuan does not rule out censuring the ministry.’
    • ‘The last three were to become cardinals and the first two were eventually censured by the Church.’
    • ‘Respect for minority rights is definitely important, but she was being overly sensitive in censuring this community-building event with her flimsy, misguided affirmative action notions.’
    • ‘When the Islamic religion is censured, who will stand up to defend it?’
    • ‘Since when should an MP be censured for saying something that is offensive to some portion of society?’
    • ‘Donald Dewar personally censured ministers for failing to observe collective responsibility and leaking to the press.’
    • ‘In recent years North Yorkshire police were condemned for establishing a canteen culture and county ambulance service chiefs were censured for bullying.’
    • ‘The dramatic departures come after Cllr Holden and Cllr Smith were censured last month by the Standards Board.’
    • ‘My Latin temper snaps, and I'm censured by a security guard.’
    • ‘However, recently he was censured for dangling his baby son Bob near the open jaws of a crocodile and forced to make an apology to his millions of fans.’
    criticize, condemn, castigate, chastise, lambaste, pillory, savage, find fault with, fulminate against, abuse
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  • The expression of formal disapproval.

    ‘angry delegates offered a resolution of censure against the offenders’
    ‘they paid the price in social ostracism and family censure’
    • ‘Louise McMullan, one of the officers singled out for censure, claimed that the protest had been a success and wanted to thank all those who took part.’
    • ‘China, which prides itself in its trade with the U.S., is the favorite target of disapproval and censure.’
    • ‘Both men, in previous guises, have drawn severe judicial censure, for their actions against the CFMEU.’
    • ‘The South African document singles out the trans-Atlantic slave trade for censure.’
    • ‘If your father allows you to swear at your mother without censure, it's horrible and reprehensible, but a private matter.’
    • ‘Only Beckett seems to have escaped censure, because of his elegance and self-restraint.’
    • ‘I would not want the U.S. Senate to write a resolution of censure against you as a Jewish man.’
    • ‘Her photos of circus freaks and those on the margins of society earned her praise as well as censure from critics.’
    • ‘Dr Lederman accepted his censure, reprimand and a £2,777 fine, documents show.’
    • ‘In both cases, strong censure of practitioners followed public attention.’
    • ‘The investigation ended with much tongue-wagging but no formal censure.’
    • ‘There are lawyers who admitted to taking their clients money, and yet they receive no censure, nor have their licence lifted to practice law.’
    • ‘He assailed any attempt to single out ‘only one country in the world, Israel, for censure and abuse’.’
    • ‘Each of the terrible ten is accompanied by a helpful little paragraph explaining just why it merits our censure.’
    • ‘In the boycott by the Association of University Teachers, what has been expressed is not criticism or censure but vilification.'’
    • ‘If the teacher refuses to do so, he will be open to public censure and criticism from his superiors, further warnings and potential expulsion.’
    • ‘Mr. Wilson disappoints and offers gossip, censure and critical summary.’
    • ‘I'm surprised that the council leader has had no word of censure for the embarrassment caused to his administration for this abuse of office.’
    • ‘The point made by the Israeli NGOs and delegations was; why single out Israel for censure?’
    • ‘His sometimes droll remarks might annoy some readers, but to me they seem a very effective way of delivering not just censure but also ridicule.’
    condemnation, criticism, attack, abuse, revilement
    reprimand, rebuke, admonishment, admonition, reproof, reproval, upbraiding, castigation, berating, denunciation, disapproval, reproach, scolding, chiding, reprehension, obloquy, vituperation
    excoriation, objurgation
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On the difference in meaning between censure and censor, see censor


Late Middle English (in the sense judicial sentence): from Old French censurer (verb), censure (noun), from Latin censura judgment, assessment from censere assess.