1. An official, usually periodic enumeration of a population, often including the collection of related demographic information.
2. In ancient Rome, a count of the citizens and an evaluation of their property for taxation purposes.
tr.v. cen·sused, cen·sus·ing, cen·sus·ed
To include in a census; conduct a census of: "Every plant one centimeter in diameter or larger is censused every five years" (John P. Wiley, Jr.)
[Latin cēnsus, registration of citizens, from cēnsēre, to assess; see kens- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.