Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To remove material that is considered offensive or objectionable from (a book, for example).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To remove or alter those parts of a text considered offensive, vulgar, or otherwise unseemly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To expurgate, as a book, by omitting or modifying the parts considered offensive; to remove morally objectionable parts; -- said of literary texts.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To expurgate in editing by expunging words or passages considered offensive or indelicate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate

Etymologies

After Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), who published an expurgated edition of Shakespeare in 1818.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Thomas Bowdler, who in 1818 published a censored version of Shakespeare, expurgating "those words and expressions... which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family." (Wiktionary)

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