Censor, Sensor, and Censure

The Difference between Censor, Sensor, and Censure

"Censor" and "sensor" are easy to confuse because they sound identical. The word "censure" (which is quite rare) is also sometimes confused with "censor."
  • "Censor" means to forbid. For example:
    • We seem okay with violence, but nudity we race to criticize and censor. (Actress Eva Mendes) correct tick
  • "Sensor" is a detector. For example:
    • The answer to crime is yet another national employment program. It is better cameras, sensors, and locks. correct tick (Writer Evgeny Morozov)
  • "Censure" is displeasure. For example:
    • He who would acquire fame must not show himself afraid of censure. The dread of censure is the death of genius. correct tick (Politician and writer William Gilmore Simms) correct tick
censor, sensor, and censure explained

More about "Censor," "Sensor," "Censure"

Writers sometimes confuse "censor" and "sensor." Even though they sound identical, their meanings are quite different (i.e., they're homonyms). As "censure" sounds similar, we've included it on this page, but errors involving "censure" are far rarer than with "censor" and "sensor."


The verb "to censor" means "to forbid public distribution of something" (usually a film or a newspaper).

Example sentences with "censor":
  • They can't censor the gleam in my eye. correct tick (Actor Charles Laughton)
  • Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/search_results?q=censor
  • How did that statement end up on the streets? I censored the article myself. correct tick
  • Thanks to television, for the first time the young are seeing history made before it is censored by their elders. correct tick (Author Margaret Mead)
The noun "censorship" comes from "censor."


The noun "sensor" means a detector of a stimulus (such as heat, light, motion, pressure).

Example sentences with "sensor":
  • An infrared sensor designed to detect movement triggered the roadside bomb. correct tick
  • There is a shirt company making sensors that go into your clothing. They will watch how you sit, run, or ski and give data on that information. correct tick (Blogger Robert Scoble)


The noun "censure" means a formal rebuke or official displeasure.

Example sentences with "censure":
  • He has received two letters of censure from the commandant. correct tick
  • The readiest and surest way to get rid of censure is to correct ourselves. correct tick (Greek statesman Demosthenes)
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.