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Comstockery

[kuhm-stok-uh-ree, kom-]
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noun
  1. overzealous moral censorship of the fine arts and literature, often mistaking outspokenly honest works for salacious ones.

Origin of Comstockery

1900–05; after A. Comstock; see -ery
Related formsCom·stock·er, nounCom·stock·i·an, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for comstockery

Historical Examples

  • There it is in a few words—a complete and perfect treatise on Comstockery!

    Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 1, March 1906

    Various

  • It is no exaggeration to say that Comstockery is the arch enemy of society.

  • Is Comstockery to be our best expression of the most vital matter of existence?

  • His chapters on the psychology of war hysteria and of comstockery are acute and constructive.

    Psychoanalysis

    Andr Tridon

  • Comstockery, as we know it, is apparently an organized effort to regulate the morals of the people.


British Dictionary definitions for comstockery

comstockery

noun
  1. US immoderate censorship on grounds of immorality

Word Origin

C20: coined by G. B. Shaw (1905) after Anthony Comstock (1844–1915), US moral crusader, who founded the Society for the Suppression of Vice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for comstockery

Comstockery

n.

1905, from Anthony Comstock (1844-1915), founder of New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (1873) and self-appointed crusader against immorality, + -ery. Coined by George Bernard Shaw after Comstock objected to "Mrs. Warren's Profession." "Comstockery is the world's standing joke at the expense of the United States" [Shaw, "New York Times," Sept. 26, 1905]. The Comstock lode, silver vein in Nevada, was discovered 1859 and first worked by U.S. prospector H.T.P. Comstock (1820-1870).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper