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

In their rural hamlet of Thái Bình, southeast of Hanoi, Thảo and her sister learned to sew their own clothes, and to appreciate the intrinsic value of the materials and their craft. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hanoi, Time and Again," 20 Nov. 2018 In rural environments, the spread of resistant species might be slow. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 While the location was rustic and rural, Ashlee’s wedding day look was anything but. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "This Couple Married at Their Fantasy Location: A 70-Acre Farm in Minnesota," 16 Nov. 2018 The drive up from my New Jersey town through rural Connecticut is absolutely breathtaking. Annemarie Conte, Woman's Day, "Why the 'Gilmore Girls' Fan Festival Is the Ultimate Friends Weekend Getaway," 26 Oct. 2018 Earlier this year, media reports and wildlife experts said at least three children have been killed by leopards in a series of attacks in rural India. Fox News, "'Baby snatcher' monkey hunted after infant found dead in well," 2 Oct. 2018 Imagine a neighbor idling a Harley—tolerable in a rural environment but unacceptable in a tight city lot. David Agrell, Popular Mechanics, "Should You Buy a Standby Generator?," 11 Sep. 2018 The series stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant-syndrome who leaves behind his rural life in Casper, Wyoming to join the staff at the prestigious St. Bonaventure Hospital in San Jose, California. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About 'The Good Doctor' Season 2," 25 July 2018 To get or maintain access to real-life ob-gyns, rural communities may have to figure out incentives to lure physicians away from major metropolitan areas, such as offering to pay off medical school loans, suggests Dr. Lawrence. Barbara Brody, Glamour, "The Ob-Gyn Shortage Is Real—And It Might Impact Your Care," 14 Nov. 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

6 Dec 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).


living or existing for a long time

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