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

The task force will soon break into four subcommittees that will examine four big subject areas: K-12 budgeting; the teacher pipeline; rural and underserved schools and school safety and facilities. Kevin Richert, idahostatesman, "Little’s K-12 task force has two big priorities: literacy and student life after high school," 4 June 2019 Patients in rural or inner city areas or at community hospitals that lack staff to work on special requests may be disadvantaged., "US aims to help more cancer patients try experimental drugs," 3 June 2019 Carter and his wife Rosalynn live in the small, rural town of Plains in southwestern Georgia, where they were born, raised and married. CBS News, "Jimmy Carter finally gets tenure after 37 years at Emory University," 3 June 2019 In rural North Carolina, landowners seeking to end a federal program to reintroduce red wolves to the wild went door-to-door saying the animals were dangerous. Darryl Fears, The Denver Post, "Killing wolves was supposed to solve a problem but created issue with coyotes," 3 June 2019 Here is June's list, ranked in order of urgency: Azory Gwanda, a freelance journalist working in rural Tanzania, has been missing since November 21, 2017 following his investigation of mysterious killings in his community. Wired Staff, WIRED, "The One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack," 3 June 2019 Now!, Women with a Vision, Feminist Women’s Health Center, Women Engaged, and ARC Southeast are some additional groups supporting rural and low income communities to be powerful. Alicia Garza, Marie Claire, "Can We Have a Conversation About Abortion Bans and the South?," 29 May 2019 Some of this year’s fires were caused by rural residents burning yard debris. Kimberly Cauvel, The Seattle Times, "Washington faces especially bad wildfire season," 28 May 2019 The garden, designed by Jilayne Rickards, is a recreation of a rural Zimbabwean outdoor classroom, with rocky red soil planted with edible crops, including iron-rich beans, papaya, and banana trees. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "The Top 5 Takeaways from the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show," 23 May 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

7 Jun 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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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