bowdlerize

[bohd-luh-rahyz, boud-]
verb (used with object), bowd·ler·ized, bowd·ler·iz·ing.
  1. to expurgate (a written work) by removing or modifying passages considered vulgar or objectionable.
Also especially British, bowd·ler·ise.

Origin of bowdlerize

1830–40; after Thomas Bowdler (1754–1825), English editor of an expurgated edition of Shakespeare
Related formsbowd·ler·ism, nounbowd·ler·i·za·tion, nounbowd·ler·iz·er, nounun·bowd·ler·ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for bowdlerism

bowdlerize

bowdlerise

verb
  1. (tr) to remove passages or words regarded as indecent from (a play, novel, etc); expurgate
Derived Formsbowdlerization or bowdlerisation, nounbowdlerizer or bowdleriser, nounbowdlerism, 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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bowdlerism

bowdlerize

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