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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Any attempt to stifle or fetter such criticism amounts to political censorship of the most insidious and objectionable kind.
▪ Angry journalists accused the government of censorship of free speech.
▪ Any films that are shown here have to pass government censorship.
▪ Many community leaders have called for censorship of the Internet.
▪ But this lack of censorship, self or otherwise, should be celebrated for the hard-won battle that it is.
▪ De jure censorship is an unquestioned evil in itself.
▪ It is for this reason that totalitarian governments, and even quasi-totalitarian governments, employ censorship.
▪ Newspapers had been muzzled by wartime censorship.
▪ Partial censorship will become complete censorship.
▪ Smith attended Oxford, where he complained about poor teaching and academic censorship.
▪ The law dominated the field, but it did not operate through the simple mechanisms of censorship and repression.
▪ Yet while some regulations are equivalent to censorship, others are not.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Censorship \Cen"sor*ship\, n. The office or power of a censor; as, to stand for a censorship.

The press was not indeed at that moment under a general censorship.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1590s, "office of a censor," from censor (n.) + -ship. Meaning "action of censoring" is from 1824.


n. The use of state or group power to control freedom of expression or freedom of the press, such as passing laws to prevent media from being published or propagated.

  1. n. counterintelligence achieved by banning or deleting any information of value to the enemy [syn: censoring, security review]

  2. deleting parts of publications or correspondence or theatrical performances [syn: censoring]


Censorship is the suppression of free speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.

Governments, private organizations and individuals may engage in censorship. When an individual such as an author or other creator engages in censorship of their own works or speech, it is referred to as self-censorship. Censorship could be direct or indirect, in which case it is referred to as soft censorship. It occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.

Direct censorship may or may not be legal, depending on the type, location, and content. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and frequently a claim of necessity to balance conflicting rights is made, in order to determine what could and could not be censored. There are no laws against self-censorship.

Usage examples of "censorship".

Traditional theater was removed from preperformance censorship in mid-1947, beginning with Bunraku puppet theater in May, followed by Kabuki in June, and Noh in September.

The Russian censorship suppressed the news, and what was allowed to come through from Germany was treated in Entente countries as a German lie.

Christian philosophers have found no difficulty in justifying imperialism, war, the capitalistic system, the use of torture, the censorship of the press, and ecclesiastical tyrannies of every sort from the tyranny of Rome to the tyrannies of Geneva and New England.

On taking his degree he entered the Civil Service, where he remained all his life, at first in the Ministry of Finance, later, when in 1856 it was decided to liberalize the censorship, as a censor.

Living under a far more efficient censorship than any prevailing in the worst eras of Tsarism, Belchikov knows whereof he speaks.

The genial omissions and the invented details with which our textbooks retell the Pilgrim archetype are close cousins of the overt censorship practiced by the Massachusetts Department of Commerce in denying Frank James the right to speak.

In the past they used to skirt as closely as possible -- keeping in mind the practices of Soviet censorship -- the admissible limits of belletristic creativity.

He reserved the right of censorship, expressing a hope that our opinions might coincide.

Federal Censorship Commission was created, and the next year the old Internment Camps in the southwest were filled to capacity by violators, and the next year the First Church of Merdeka was founded in Chicago.

And this last address became the name of the committee, now an established association, formed by a group of people who believe that human life must be respected, that the right to express your opinion and demonstrate as embodied in the Italian Constitution must be defended, that the true facts about what happened in Genoa in July 2001 must be made known and that all misreporting, censorship, and omissions in the information given out about Genoa must be denounced.

What other results could have been expected when American society began to overvalue on the one hand security, censorship, an imagined world-saving idealism and self-sacrifice in war, and on the other hand insatiable hunger for possessions, fiercely competitive aggressiveness, sadistic male belligerence, contempt for parents and the state, and a fantastically overstimulated sexuality?

More subtle and pernicious, in the print media in particular, the shift from prepublication to postpublication censorship had a chilling rather than a liberating effect on many publishers, editors, and writers, for it made them more vulnerable to financial disaster should occupation authorities find their published product unacceptable and demand that a newspaper, magazine, or book be recalled.

Indeed, the very process of moving away from the initial procedure of prepublication censorship had involved the explicit stigmatization of the left as the new enemy of democracy.

New Reformationist intolerance and censorship: they just showed it, along with our faxes of the Korkol.

When Sanders became too persistent, he was reminded that the correspondence of people under a criminal charge was liable to censorship, but as far as Suzanne and Max Clair were concerned, the suggestion was grotesque.