a container, usually covered, in which incense is burned, especially during religious services; thurible.

Origin of censer

1200–50; Middle English < Anglo-French, aphetic variant of ensenser < Medieval Latin incensārium. See incense1, -er2
Can be confusedcenser censor censure sensor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for censer

Historical Examples of censer

  • The censer was made of iron, and was so large one could not clasp it with both arms.

  • Stole on the winds through the woodland aisles like the breath of a censer.


    William D. Howells

  • He had a big can of water, which he swung like a censer as he danced.

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • He stood in the middle of the room, staring from Venus to altar-cloth, from altar-cloth to censer.

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

  • This Absolon, that jolif was and gay, Gooth with a sencer (censer) on the haliday.

    The Romance of Names

    Ernest Weekley

British Dictionary definitions for censer



a container for burning incense, esp one swung at religious ceremoniesAlso called: thurible
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 censer

"vessel used for burning incense," mid-13c., from Old French censier, a shortened form of encensier, from encens "incense" (see incense (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper