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.
Also especially British, bowd·ler·ise.
Origin of bowdlerize
1830–40; after Thomas Bowdler (1754–1825), English editor of an expurgated edition of ShakespeareRelated formsbowd·ler·ism, nounbowd·ler·i·za·tion, nounbowd·ler·iz·er, nounun·bowd·ler·ized, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for bowdlerize
Historical Examples of bowdlerize
I have no wish to bowdlerize Sir Richard Steele, his ways and words.
She should not be allowed to disguise and bowdlerize it to suit the unwelcome tastes she had acquired at school.
This is called "expurgating" the book; but people who disapprove often call it to bowdlerize.
British Dictionary definitions for bowdlerize
Derived Formsbowdlerization or bowdlerisation, nounbowdlerizer or bowdleriser, nounbowdlerism, noun
(tr) to remove passages or words regarded as indecent from (a play, novel, etc); expurgate
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
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