Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.
When you bowdlerize a text, you remove certain parts of it. Publishers sometimes bowdlerize to make a text simpler or less offensive.
The term is named after Thomas Bowdler, who famously, and controversially, published a bowdlerized version of Shakespeare's collected works to create The Family Shakespeare. We have just one question: what in the world did he do with Lady Macbeth?