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Censure vs. Censor vs. Sensor

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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The government faced censure for censoring harmless images in the magazine.

The words censure, censor and sensor are homophones and all three of them have similar pronunciation which is s-en-sur. The words have very different and distinguished meanings however as they do not relate to each other. Thus censure, censor and sensor can be used as substitutes and one must be aware of the meanings of all of them in order to tell one apart from the rest. In this article, we will describe all three homophones with their meanings and examples so you can use them in your speech and writings without making any errors.

The above sentence makes use of two of these words; censure and censor, are their meanings clear after reading that sentence? If not, continue reading.

Censure as verb:

Originally derived from the Latin word censere meaning ‘assess’, censure is used as a verb in English language where it means to express severe disapproval of (someone or something), especially in a formal statement.

The company was heavily censured by inspectors from the Department of Trade.

Censure as noun:

The word censure is used as a noun as well in English language where it implies the meaning of the formal expression of severe disapproval. The two MPs were singled out for censure. With synonyms like condemnation, criticism, attack, abuse and revilement etc., not another example below;

The manager was censured for a malicious act.

Censor as noun:

With the same origin as censure (Latin word censere meaning ‘assess’), censor is used as a noun in English language which means an official who examines books, films, news, etc. that are about to be published and suppresses any parts that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security. The report was approved by the military censors. In the department of psychology, censor implies an aspect of the superego which is said to prevent certain ideas and memories from emerging into consciousness. His censored thoughts are futile. In ancient Rome either of two magistrates who held censuses and supervised public morals were called the censors.

The censor completed the survey.

Censor as verb:

Censure vs. Censor vs. Sensor


In English language, censor is also used as a verb where it means to examine (a book, film, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it. This is the most common and widely used meaning of censor.

The documentary has been censored in the nation’s interest.


Sensor as noun:

Sensor (with two s-es) is used only as a noun in English where it implies 1. a device which detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates, or otherwise responds to it. The device that senses the characteristics of a thing is also a sensor.

To ensure greater response and surer handling, the engineers used electronic sensors to monitor each wheel.

Censure, censor or sensor:

Foul language, nudity, and revolutionary ideas are often censored, or hidden, by some gang who's in charge, such as a government, the FCC, or your parents when they kick you out of the room. 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. A complicated device with the sensing ability is the sensor. Remember sensor is derived from senses.

We hope you won’t censure this article.


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