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.

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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

OTHER WORDS FROM bowdlerize

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. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for bowdlerizing

bowdlerize

bowdlerise

/ (ˈbaʊdləˌraɪz) /

verb

(tr) to remove passages or words regarded as indecent from (a play, novel, etc); expurgate

Derived forms of bowdlerize

bowdlerization 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

Cultural definitions for bowdlerizing

bowdlerizing
[ (bohd-luh-reye-zing, bowd-luh-reye-zing) ]

Amending a book by removing passages and words deemed obscene or objectionable (see obscenity). The name comes from Thomas Bowdler's 1818 edition of the plays of William Shakespeare, which was amended so that it could “be read aloud in a family.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.