: an Indo-Aryan language that has the same colloquial basis as standard Hindi, is an official language of Pakistan, and is widely used by Muslims in urban areas of India

Examples of Urdu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whereas Hindi draws on Sanskrit for new words, Urdu draws on Persian and Arabic, again emphasizing associations to Islam. Phillip M. Carter, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2023 The initial burst of productions will be in the Hindustani (combining Hindi and Urdu) language that is understood across the subcontinent. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 5 Sep. 2023 Children called out to their parents over the sound of the waves in Arabic, Urdu, English and Russian. Vivian Nereim Andrea Dicenzo, New York Times, 28 Aug. 2023 The musical production is in Hindi and Urdu, with English subtitles playing out on LED screens. Kavita Daswani, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 Reinterpretations are in the Kannada, Zulu, Mandarin, Armenian, Pashto, Urdu and Hindi languages, among others. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 5 Aug. 2023 As a kid in Hyderabad, India, Nadella dreamed of reading Jalal al-Din Rumi, the famed Persian poet, in English and Urdu. Stephen Pastis, Fortune, 28 June 2023 Five decades later, Ismaily has become one of music’s most in-demand collaborators, flitting like a mischievous butterfly through genres as diverse as honeyed folk, rambunctious free jazz and spectral meditations sung in Urdu. Grayson Haver Currin, New York Times, 27 June 2023 Nice to Know: Hashmi also speaks Urdu. Rate: $170 for an initial session; $150 for follow-ups. Katherine Singh, refinery29.com, 11 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Urdu.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Hindi & Urdu urdū, from Persian zabān-e-urdū-e-muallā language of the Exalted Camp (the imperial bazaar in Delhi)

First Known Use

1796, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Urdu was in 1796

Dictionary Entries Near Urdu

Cite this Entry

“Urdu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Urdu. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

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