WORD ORIGIN verb (used with object), bowd·ler·ized, bowd·ler·iz·ing. to expurgate (a written work) by removing or modifying passages considered vulgar or objectionable.
, especially British bowd·ler·ise. Origin of bowdlerize 1830–40; after Thomas Bowdler (1754–1825), English editor of an expurgated edition of Shakespeare Related forms bowd·ler·ism, noun bowd·ler·i·za·tion, noun bowd·ler·iz·er, noun un·bowd·ler·ized, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for bowdlerism verb (tr) to remove passages or words regarded as indecent from (a play, novel, etc); expurgate Derived Forms bowdlerization or bowdlerisation, noun bowdlerizer or bowdleriser, noun bowdlerism, noun Word Origin for bowdlerize
C19: after Thomas
Bowdler (1754–1825), English editor who published an expurgated edition of Shakespeare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for bowdlerism v.
1836, from Thomas
Bowdler (1754-1825), English editor who in 1818 published a notorious expurgated Shakespeare, in which, according to his frontispiece, "nothing is added to the original text; but those words and expressions omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family." Related: Bowdlerized; bowdlerizing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper