Make Your Editor Cry: Censor vs. Censure

Make Your Editor Cry:  Censor vs. Censure

A censor as a noun hides information. A censure as a noun is harsh criticism. They’re both judgments but to be censored is to be stopped from communicating something while to be censured is to be reprimanded after you’ve communicated it.

Censure is a verb referring to very strong criticism. If you take your dad’s car without telling him, you can expect him to censure you severely, and maybe even punish you as well.


The marine recruit was sent home from boot camp after he received a second censure from the company commander.

A censor takes out things that are objectionable or inappropriate, like the censors at the TV networks bleeping out all the bad words in a TV show. Foul language, nudity, revolutionary ideas, or conservative opinions are often censored, or hidden, by whatever gang happens to be in charge, such as a government, the FCC, a global media service (such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter), or your parents when they kick you out of the room so you miss the best part of the movie.

Censor can act as a verb or a noun.

Example as a verb:

China routinely censors the Internet using sophisticated filtering technology.

Example as a noun:

Chinese censors routinely implement sophisticated filtering technology to block internet content they want to hide.

Censure is a strong dislike. When you strongly disapprove of something, usually in an official capacity, you are censuring that something, like when the student council censures your idea to have a pool party in December.

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