ru·ral | \ˈru̇r(-ə)l, 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 \ noun
rurally \ˈru̇r-ə-lē, 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

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Morimoto grew up in rural Western Massachusetts in a town with one store, one post office and a pub, all in the same building. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Sen Morimoto gets moody with his saxophone," 11 July 2018 Steve Wilson had watched his three buddies each put on a wetsuit top, a mask and flippers and then disappear into the water inside a cave in rural Arkansas. Lindsey Bever, ajc, "The dramatic and tragic rescue of explorers trapped in a cave — 53 years ago in America," 10 July 2018 California fire officials have cited a 46-year-old Yolo County man for allegedly starting a large blaze that has scorched 90,000 acres in Yolo and Napa counties after igniting along a rural highway on June 30. Javier Panzar,, "Man cited in Northern California fire sparked by faulty electric fence," 12 July 2018 In reality, the job losses in industries like logging and mining that have devastated many rural communities are due to macroeconomic forces like depleted resources, globalization, and technological advances. Peter S. Alagona, Outside Online, "The Endangered Species Act Needs a Reboot," 9 July 2018 My theory was this: The tall burger was emblematic of the verticality of New York (and urban America), while the flat burger represented the horizontalness of Texas (and rural America). Jim Shahin, charlotteobserver, "The best way to grill a burger keeps it off the grate," 6 July 2018 Farm management software is now a $1.6 billion industry, even though broadband connectivity issues still plague large swaths of rural America, including Pennsylvania. Jason Nark,, "Down on the farm with the robots and drones," 5 July 2018 Mildred Augustine was born in 1905 in Ladora, Iowa, a rural farming community near Iowa City. Jennifer Fisher, Smithsonian, "The Adventurous Writer Who Brought Nancy Drew To Life," 2 July 2018 After mass shootings in the nation’s suburbs and rural communities, people gather, light candles and listen to the words of survivors, political leaders and clergy. Dan Rodricks,, "In Annapolis, a perfect breeze to heal and unify," 30 June 2018

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

13 Sep 2018

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 \

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).


one that holds something together

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