Word of the Day

Monday, April 07, 2003


\sen-SOR-ee-uhs\ , adjective;
Tending to blame, condemn, or criticize; harshly critical.
Implying or expressing harsh criticism or disapproval; as, "censorious remarks."
Another factor is the morally censorious climate in which we live -- a climate that is intolerant of eccentricity, waywardness and general lack of perfection.
-- Andrew Martin, "Class conscious", New Statesman, November 6, 2000
The world seems to become more not less censorious towards those who do not conform to its norms
-- Allan Ramsay, "Terrorism in America: Reflections from a French field", Contemporary Review, November 2001
Sometimes Byron's tone is that of a censorious eighth-grade girl, as when he reports that "Martha is not a good mixer at parties."
-- Caitlin Flanagan, "Home Alone", The Atlantic, September 2002
They question me, half censorious, half wistful: "And did you never want to get married yourself?"
-- Nuala O'Faolain, Are You Somebody
To this little rant of mine the Roman philosopher Seneca offers a censorious tut-tut.
-- Garret Keizer, "Sound and Fury", Harper's Magazine, March 2001
Censorious comes from Latin censorius, "pertaining to the censor," from censor, "one of two magistrates of ancient Rome responsible for taking the census and supervising morals and conduct," from censere, "to appraise, to estimate, to express an opinion."
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