bowdlerize

[ bohd-luh-rahyz, boud- ]
/ ˈboʊd ləˌraɪz, ˈbaʊd- /

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.

RELATED WORDS


Nearby words

  1. bow-iron,
  2. bow-wow,
  3. bowditch,
  4. bowditch's law,
  5. bowditch, nathaniel,
  6. bowdlerizing,
  7. bowed,
  8. bowel,
  9. bowel bypass,
  10. bowel bypass syndrome

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for bowdlerize

  • She should not be allowed to disguise and bowdlerize it to suit the unwelcome tastes she had acquired at school.

    Joanna Godden|Sheila Kaye-Smith
  • I have no wish to bowdlerize Sir Richard Steele, his ways and words.

    Essays|Alice Meynell
  • This is called "expurgating" the book; but people who disapprove often call it to bowdlerize.

    Stories That Words Tell Us|Elizabeth O'Neill


British Dictionary definitions for bowdlerize

bowdlerize

bowdlerise

/ (ˈbaʊdləˌraɪz) /

verb

(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 bowdlerize

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