[ sen-sher ]
/ ˈsɛn ʃər /
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See synonyms for: censure / censured / censurer on Thesaurus.com


strong or vehement expression of disapproval: The newspapers were unanimous in their censure of the tax proposal.
an official reprimand, as by a legislative body of one of its members.

verb (used with object), cen·sured, cen·sur·ing.

to criticize or reproach in a harsh or vehement manner: She is more to be pitied than censured.

verb (used without object), cen·sured, cen·sur·ing.

to give censure, adverse criticism, disapproval, or blame.



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Origin of censure

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin cēnsūra censor's office, assessment, equivalent to cēns(us) past participle of cēnsēre (see censor) + -ūra-ure

synonym study for censure

1. See abuse. 3. See blame, reprimand.



1. blame, censure , condemn (see synonym study at blame)2. censer, censor, censure , sensor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does censure mean?

Censure is passionate or intense criticism, as in Many countries were united in their censure of the nation responsible for the nuclear disaster. 

Censure can also refer to an official condemnation or reprimand, especially by a legislative body to one of its members, as in The lawyer’s terrible conduct earned him a censure from the judge. 

As a verb, censure means to intensely and harshly criticize something, as in The governor was censured by the media for his incredibly poor handling of the state’s hurricane response.   

Censure could be confused with the similarly spelled words censer, censor, and sensor. A censer is a container that holds burning incense. A censor is a person who looks for unacceptable or immoral material in media or creative works. A sensor is a device that sends a signal in reaction to environmental conditions.

Example: The musician faced intense censure from other artists after stealing melodies and their career never recovered from the backlash.

Where does censure come from?

The first records of censure come from around 1350. It ultimately comes from the Latin cēnsēre, meaning “to consider” or  “to assess.” In the case of censure, a person has considered the actions of someone else and has come to an incredibly negative assessment of them.

Censure is a synonym of such words as criticize, scold, rebuff, and chastise. However, censure is often specifically used to mean that the criticism is incredibly severe and negative. The word censure often implies that a person being censured is going to literally or figuratively suffer horribly because of whatever terrible or reprehensible thing they did.

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What are some other forms related to censure?

  • censurer (noun)
  • censureless (adjective)
  • miscensure (verb)
  • precensure (verb)

What are some synonyms for censure?

What are some words that share a root or word element with censure

What are some words that often get used in discussing censure?

What are some words censure may be commonly confused with?

How is censure used in real life?

Censure is used to refer to especially harsh criticism or an official show of contempt by a government body.

Try using censure!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of censure?

A. scold
B. blame
C. condemn
D. praise

How to use censure in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for censure

/ (ˈsɛnʃə) /


severe disapproval; harsh criticism


to criticize (someone or something) severely; condemn

Derived forms of censure

censurer, noun

Word Origin for censure

C14: from Latin cēnsūra, from cēnsēre to consider, assess
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