ru·​ral | \ ˈru̇r(-ə)l How to pronounce rural (audio) , ˈrər(-ə)l\

Definition of rural

: of or relating to the country, country people or life, or agriculture

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Other Words from rural

rurality \ ru̇-​ˈra-​lə-​tē How to pronounce rurality (audio) \ noun
rurally \ ˈru̇r-​ə-​lē How to pronounce rurally (audio) , ˈrər-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for rural


bucolic, country, pastoral, rustic (also rustical)



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Examples of rural in a Sentence

She lives in a rural area. grew up in a rural community where more than half the people were farmers

Recent Examples on the Web

Raised on a farm in rural Michigan, Croninger liked making things with her hands. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Remembering Cara Croninger, Artwear Jewelry Maker and “Punk to the Core”," 5 Apr. 2019 Two years ago, the Oroville Dam's failure forced 200,000 people to evacuate from rural northern California. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Oroville Dam Almost Flooded Northern California. Now It's Working Again.," 3 Apr. 2019 The sport just seemed too pricey or inaccessible for many rural families. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 2019 Among the charities that received donations was CAMFED, an organization focused on empowering women in rural Africa. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle's Baby Shower Is Going Global, Thanks to a Charity-Minded Fan," 1 Apr. 2019 Vale has been reeling since one of its mining-waste dams burst on Jan. 25 in the rural Brazilian town of Brumadinho. Jeffrey T. Lewis, WSJ, "Iron-Ore Producer Vale Estimates Sales Impact of Dam Disaster," 28 Mar. 2019 Most of that is either city gun violence or rural gun suicide. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Gun Violence Is a Women's Issue," 27 Mar. 2019 But smaller, rural programs are less likely to have that kind of unrestricted money to plug the holes. Bryce Covert, Glamour, "“At What Point Do We Have to Start Shutting Down?” Domestic Violence Shelters Struggle to Survive the Government Shutdown," 14 Jan. 2019 On Her Childhood: Born in rural Illinois, Melissa McCarthy spent her early years on a farm first performing for her mom in their laundry room. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Melissa McCarthy's Weight-Loss Journey in Her Own Words," 3 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rural.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rural

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rural

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin ruralis, from rur-, rus open land — more at room

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Statistics for rural

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rural

The first known use of rural was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for rural



English Language Learners Definition of rural

: of or relating to the country and the people who live there instead of the city


ru·​ral | \ ˈru̇r-əl How to pronounce rural (audio) \

Kids Definition of rural

: relating to the country, country people or life, or agriculture

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More from Merriam-Webster on rural

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rural

Spanish Central: Translation of rural

Nglish: Translation of rural for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rural for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rural

What made you want to look up rural? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

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