1. Bot. Antiq. A numbering of the people, and valuation of their estate, for the purpose of imposing taxes, etc.; -- usually made once in five years.
2. An official registration of the number of the people, the value of their estates, and other general statistics of a country.
Note: ☞ A general census of the United States was first taken in 1790, and one has been taken at the end of every ten years since.
n : a period count of the population [syn: nose count, nosecount]
v : conduct a census; "They censused the deer in the forest"
There are five instances of a census of the Jewish people having
been taken. (1.) In the fourth month after the Exodus, when the
people were encamped at Sinai. The number of men from twenty
years old and upward was then 603,550 (Ex. 38:26). (2.) Another
census was made just before the entrance into Canaan, when the
number was found to be 601,730, showing thus a small decrease
(Num. 26:51). (3.) The next census was in the time of David,
when the number, exclusive of the tribes of Levi and Benjamin,
was found to be 1,300,000 (2 Sam. 24:9; 1 Chr. 21:5). (4.)
Solomon made a census of the foreigners in the land, and found
153,600 able-bodied workmen (2 Chr. 2:17, 18). (5.) After the
return from Exile the whole congregation of Israel was numbered,
and found to amount to 42,360 (Ezra 2:64). A census was made by
the Roman government in the time of our Lord (Luke 2:1). (See TAXING.)