[ sen-suhs ]
See synonyms for: censuscensusedcensusingcensusses on Thesaurus.com

noun,plural cen·sus·es.
  1. an official enumeration of the population, with details as to age, sex or gender, occupation, etc.

  2. (in ancient Rome) the registration of citizens and their property, for purposes of taxation.

verb (used with object)
  1. to take a census of (a country, city, etc.):The entire nation is censused every 10 years.

Origin of census

First recorded in 1605–15; from Latin: “a listing and property assessment of citizens,” equivalent to cēns(ēre) “to assess, register (citizens) in a census” + -tus suffix of verb action; for -s- in place of -st-see censor

Other words from census

  • cen·su·al [sen-shoo-uhl], /ˈsɛn ʃu əl/, adjective
  • pre·cen·sus, noun

Words that may be confused with census

Words Nearby census

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use census in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for census


/ (ˈsɛnsəs) /

nounplural -suses
  1. an official periodic count of a population including such information as sex, age, occupation, etc

  2. any offical count: a traffic census

  1. (in ancient Rome) a registration of the population and a property evaluation for purposes of taxation

Origin of census

C17: from Latin, from cēnsēre to assess

Derived forms of census

  • censual, adjective

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