Definition of suburb
1a : an outlying part of a city or townb : a smaller community adjacent to or within commuting distance of a cityc suburbs plural : the residential area on the outskirts of a city or large town
2 suburbs plural : the near vicinity : environs
suburbanplay \sə-ˈbər-bən\ adjective or noun
suburbaniteplay \-bə-ˌnīt\ noun
Recent Examples of suburb from the Web
After World War II, Chicago's white suburbs were adequately financed, while the predominantly black inner cities were largely ignored, a process which still affects housing discrimination today.
The second woman is a savvy businesswoman who has bought an abandoned apartment building in the L.A. suburb of Venice, which was destroyed by flooding when the ice caps melted.
Carmel, a northern suburb of Indianapolis, ranked first.
The district Ossoff wanted to represent covers Atlanta’s wealthy suburbs.
These suburbs north of San Diego used to vote reliably Republican.
Soulas came from a suburb of Athens in the '60s, Maria Trester from Sparta in 1970.
The facility located in the high-income New York City suburb of Greenwich offers assistance to people with higher incomes than one located in Norwalk, a less wealthy town located a mere 15 miles away.
Brooks spoke fondly of Scalise, whose southeastern Louisiana district includes Slidell, Hammond and suburbs of New Orleans.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suburb'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The suburbs vs. the urbs
Given that most of the common words in our language beginning sub- tend to have meanings concerned with “beneath” (as in subterranean and submarine) or “less than” (as with subpar), you would be forgiven for assuming that the suburbs were so named because of their location below, or their status as less than, their urban counterparts. Not so, however: sub- may have other meanings at the beginning of a word; in this case, it indicates not depth or inferiority, but proximity. In other words, the suburbs are a region close to the urbs.
Is urbs an English word? Yes; it is rarely used, but it refers typically to a city, particularly when distinguished from a suburb.
SUBURB Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of suburb for English Language Learners
: a town or other area where people live in houses near a larger city
SUBURB Defined for Kids
Definition of suburb for Students
: a smaller community close to a city
Seen and Heard
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