Censured Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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When your company is censured by a government agency, it’s not good news. It’s a warning that you’re in serious trouble. Given the negative connotations of being censured, it’s no surprise that this term is sometimes confused with another “c” word — censored. 

In recent years, the word “censure” has been used somewhat confusingly. It’s often used to mean “condemn,” even though it actually means “formally reprimand.” Let’s discuss what the term means and how to use it correctly.

Here is everything you need to know about what the word censured means, why it’s relevant in the modern world, and how to use it yourself! 

What Does Censured Mean? 

The definition of censure (ˈsen-s-ure, ​​cen-sure) is an official expression of disapproval or official reprimand. Someone who has been censured has been officially criticized for something.

In today’s political climate, where many people like to criticize others’ actions (especially on social media), a censure may seem harsh. But it can also be used in more informal situations: if you find your partner sleeping on the couch after coming home late from the clubs, you might say that he just got a little “censured” by his spouse!

You may also hear it used interchangeably with rebuke, which has similar meanings: to tell someone they’re wrong or in error, express disapproval of something they’ve done, or reprimand them for their mistake.

If you were to look in a Thesaurus for word lists of synonyms, you’d likely find words and phrases including: 

  • Condemn
  • Reprove
  • Strong Disapproval
  • Find fault
  • Harsh Criticism
  • Chastise
  • Admonish
  • Animadversion
  • Slam
  • Blast
  • Berate

Some popular antonyms include words like: 

  • Praise
  • Commend
  • Thank
  • Approve of
  • Show approval

What Is the Etymology of the Word Censured? 

Censure is based in Latin, like many other political and official-sounding words in the English language. This is everything you need to know about where the word comes from in its linguistic history. 

The original roots of the word are in the Latin cēnsūra, which means “assess.” Over time, this turned into the phrase censere, which had more professional connotations associated with judgment and assessment. 

As the years went on, the word was transposed into Old French and then finally entered Middle English in the world of judicial language. Since then, the word has become a popular term within the world of politics and more official matters. It is commonly thrown around in many different capacities and often carries a lot of theatrical and potent contexts with it. 

How Is the Word Censured Used in Politics? 

When you hear news about a politician who has been “censured,” they have been officially or formally reprimanded or criticized for something. Censure is often used in lawmaking bodies when one member has committed misconduct in office.

For example, a politician who misuses public funds may be censured if his colleagues vote to formally criticize him for it. 

A legislative body can censure a lawmaker for misconduct in office. This means that the lawmaker did something that violated the city charter or other laws, which is why they are being punished. A legislative body may also censure a lawmaker because of a violation committed against the city charter (or other laws). 

In this case, it’s important to note that the definition of “misconduct” is open to interpretation by each local government entity and its members. This could be anything from misusing public funds to failing to provide proper oversight over another officer’s actions.

The process and methods being censured are seen everywhere, from the United States Senate to Congress, and are used by both Republicans like Trump and Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez. There are countless examples of censure in the history of the GOP, including the presidential censure of Andrew Jackson in 1834. 

Example Sentences Using the Word Censured

One of the best ways to learn how to use a word is by seeing it in use in example sentences. Here are some great examples of the term being used in the real world and how you can learn to understand it in its most relevant form and meaning! 

Following the release of the unabridged conversation that the mayor of New York had with his secretary, he was censured by the State senate. 

The school senate’s goal was to censure mean students and make sure they acted more kindly with their fellow scholars. 

I was censured by my mother the other day for tracking mud through the house — I really need to remember to take off my shoes when I come inside. 


Of course, the practice of censure is still alive and well today. It’s a way for those in power to police the behavior of their colleagues without resorting to potentially extreme measures like impeachment or imprisonment. 

In this sense, it’s a way for the public to hold its officials accountable without bringing too much disruption into their lives. We hope that you’ve learned something new about this exciting word! 

If you want to learn more about using words in the most appropriate and practical ways, feel free to look around our blog here at The Word Counter! There’s nothing worse than getting censured over misusing a word, and with the information we have here, that doesn’t have to happen! 

If any complicated or confusing parts of English always seem to trip you up, don’t worry — we probably have a blog article about that! Feel free to look around, and you’ll be a genuinely masterful user of the English language in no time! Just a few minutes of looking around can give you linguistic knowledge that you’ll use for the rest of your life! 


Censure Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com

CENSURE | Cambridge English Dictionary

Censure – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms | Vocabulary.com