expurgate

August 24, 2022

Expurgate / verb / ex·pur·gate

If you've ever requested a copy of your personal school records, medical records, or legal transcripts and noticed that part of the information had been removed or obscured, you probably already have an idea of what the verb expurgate means.

Expurgate is a verb used in English to describe the removal or cleansing of certain information from documents, public signage, records, and similar places by people who believe the hidden information shouldn't be shared.

It is not uncommon for law enforcement agencies to expurgate certain information from records and files when responding to information requests like copies of police reports from the public.

When information is censored from records, it is done to protect one party while withholding pertinent information from another.

There is some debate about how ethical it is to expurgate records, and we can see the expurgation process as positive or negative depending on related outcomes.

In a Sentence

The judge advised the court clerk to expurgate the youth's records once they reached 18.

Police departments will expurgate personally-identifying information like date of birth or address when they issue public copies of incident reports.

The reformed criminal requested the judge to expurgate his record to improve his chances of getting a better job.

Etymology

We derived the word expurgate from a combination of Latin words meaning "purge." The Latin words ex– meaning "out" and purgate meaning "cleanse" were combined around 1678 to form the word we know today.

Synonym

Censor, Redact

Antonym

Allow, Permit

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