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bowdlerize

[ bohd-luh-rahyz, boud- ]
/ ˈboʊd ləˌraɪz, ˈbaʊd- /
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See synonyms for: bowdlerize / bowdlerization on Thesaurus.com

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.

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Also especially British, bowd·ler·ise .

Origin of bowdlerize

1830–40; after Thomas Bowdler (1754–1825), English editor of an expurgated edition of Shakespeare
bowd·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. 2021
  • 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
bowdlerization or bowdlerisation, nounbowdlerizer or bowdleriser, nounbowdlerism, noun
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
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