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1530s, "Roman magistrate who took censuses and oversaw public morals," from Middle French censor and directly from Latin censor, from censere "to appraise, value, judge," from PIE root *kens- "speak solemnly, announce" (cf. Sanskrit śamsati "recites, praises," śasa "song of praise").
There were two of them at a time in classical times, usually patricians, and they also had charge of public finances and public works. Transferred sense of "officious judge of morals and conduct" in English is from 1590s. Roman censor also had a transferred sense of "a severe judge; a rigid moralist; a censurer." Of books, plays (later films, etc.), 1640s. By the early decades of the 19c. the meaning of the English word had shaded into "state agent charged with suppression of speech or published matter deemed politically subversive." Related: Censorial.
1833 of media, from censor (n.). Related: Censored; censoring.
censor cen·sor (sěn'sər)
The hypothetical agent in the unconscious mind that is responsible for suppressing unconscious thoughts and wishes.
in ancient Rome, a magistrate whose original functions of registering citizens and their property were greatly expanded to include supervision of senatorial rolls and moral conduct. Censors also assessed property for taxation and contracts, penalized moral offenders by removing their public rights, such as voting and tribe membership, and presided at the lustrum ceremonies of purification at the close of each census. The censorship was instituted in 443 BC and discontinued in 22 BC, when the emperors assumed censorial powers