The eminent live television show Bigg Boss frequently censors inappropriate language. Many reputable figures were censured in it because of the use of abusive language.

The words censor and censure have different pronunciations but many people still end up mixing them with one another because both of them define acts of constraining offensive language or misconduct. Likewise, there are instances when both of them are correct in a sentence. For example, “you might be censored if you use foul language” or “you’ll be censured if you use foul language.” Nonetheless, each sentence has a very different meaning. The first sentence means your foul language will be bleeped out or cancelled like in a TV show. Whereas, the second sentence implies that you’ll be strictly criticized if you attempt to use foul language. Let’s look at their definitions in detail.

The verb censor means to restrict unsuitable information. When used as a noun, it refers to the individuals who examine communication material to screen out the suitable content according to the relevant audience. The noun censure refers to a strong disapproval. In formal contexts, it appears as a judicial decision coming down from an official body like a legislature or the administration of a corporation. It can also be used as a verb which means to rebuke.

Censor vs censure – definitions and meanings

Definition of censor

The noun censor (pronounced as senser), refers to a body which is in charge of examining media and communication material and hiding and erasing material which is inappropriate, sensitive or top secret. Likewise, censor is also a verb and the act of hiding secretive information is called censoring. Agencies working for the government or the TV networks censor information on a regular basis from websites, television programs, radio broadcasts, newspapers etc. Secret agencies like the CIA and FCC, and other intelligence agencies are all government employed censors. Similarly, you might have noticed that inappropriate movie scenes are censored and blurred out in many of the movies designed for children.

Example sentences of censor

  • Censor as a verb:
    The government of Bhutan censors websites and television shows and the public is restricted the free expression of political views.

The country of Bhutan has strict policies that regulate what type of content the public engages in. As such, Bhutan’s government censors (filters) websites and television shows on a regular basis.

  • Censor as a verb:
    Cartoon characters that do not conform to the norms, like gay appearances, are often censored to ensure that the right kind of content is available to young children.

This sentence tells us that characters deemed inappropriate in the cartoon world are often cancelled and removed so that the content appearing to a child is according to the accepted norms.

  • Censors also often ensure that inappropriate movies or cartoons, like extreme violence or horror, start with labels like “PG 13” which means watch with parental guidance if you’re under thirteen.

You might have witnessed the PG warnings when you were young. These warnings come from a censor; the body that regulates the content behind the scenes or people employed by the TV networks. Many movies that showcase extremes, like horror, suspense, or slaughter caution parents at the beginning of the movie. Hence, it is good practice for parents to watch a movie first and see if it’s okay to allow their child to watch it.

Definition of censured

The noun censure (pronounced as senshure), means strict criticism and the verb censure means to dislike and disregard officially like when a legislative body or an official organization censures someone for offensive or inappropriate behavior. It derives from the Latin root censēre, which literally means “to evaluate or tax.” The commonly used phrase “to be censured” means “to be reprimanded.”

Example sentences of censured

  • Censure as a verb:
    The states of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey tried to impose unreasonable taxes on incoming criminals back in the 1700s but their decision was strictly censured by the governing body in London.

This sentence tells us that the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey wanted to start taxing criminals. But their governors were reprimanded and the unreasonable decision to tax criminals was declined by the governing body in London.

  • Censure as a noun:
    The boy was moved by his elder brother’s censure and he tried to atone for his sins.

This sentence talks about a reverent brother. He was criticized by his elder brother and decided to apologize and compensate for his sins.

  • Censure as a verb:
    They’re tired of being censured, it’s time the women stood up to defend themselves.

This sentence looks like it came from a freedom-fighter. He’s saying that women living in bad conditions are tired of being criticized needlessly and it’s about time that they should defend themselves.

You can find words censor and censure running all over the news. The trick to remembering them is that, censor deals with restricting information while censure deals with restricting action through criticism. If you need extra help then think about this scenario. You might be censored and stopped before you can even use foul language, but it’s certain that you’ll be censured after you’ve used it.