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See also: censé



Etymology 1[edit]

Backformation from incense


cense (third-person singular simple present censes, present participle censing, simple past and past participle censed)

  1. To perfume with incense.
    • 1697, Virgil, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      The Salii sing and 'cense his altars round.
    • 1989, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Harry Willetts, transl., August 1914, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, →ISBN, page 205:
      Alternatively he would make a pretty good deacon: tall, well built, with quite a good voice, assiduously censing every nook and cranny, endowed with a certain histrionic talent, and perhaps also a genuine devotion to the service of God.

Etymology 2[edit]

Old French cense, French cens, Latin census.


cense (plural censes)

  1. (obsolete) A census.
    • 1657, Jam. Howel [i.e., James Howell], “A Parallel, by Way of Corollary, betwixt London, and Other Great Cities of the World”, in Londinopolis; an Historicall Discourse or Perlustration of the City of London, the Imperial Chamber, and Chief Emporium of Great Britain: [], London: [] J[ohn] Streater, for Henry Twiford, George Sawbridge, Thomas Dring, and John Place, [], →OCLC, page 403:
      [I]n the year 1636, King Charles ſending to the Lord Mayor [of London], to make a ſcrutiny, vvhat number of Roman Catholiques and ſtrangers, there vvere in the City, he took occaſion thereby, to make a Cenſe of all the people; and there vvere of Men, VVomen, and Children, above ſeven hundred thouſand that lived vvithin the Barres of his juriſdiction alone; []
  2. (obsolete) A public rate or tax.
    • a. 1626, Francis Bacon, A Certificate to His Majesty [] Touching the Penal Laws
      as moneys a sum in name of a cense so returned
  3. (obsolete) condition; rank
    • 1641, Ben Jonson, Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter
      if you write to a man, whose estate and cense as senses, you are familiar with, you may the bolder (to let a taske to his braine) venter on a knot


cense in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of cēnseō




  1. inflection of censar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative