Definition of urban
: of, relating to, characteristic of, or constituting a city
Recent Examples of urban from the Web
During her modeling gigs in places such as Paris and Beijing, Ms. Kwong became fascinated with how cities function and got a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Columbia University in 2012.
At a family wedding in Kentucky, with all three kids dressed up—and fascinated by roaming deer—far from their usual urban turf.
A true urban fest held on the mean streets of downtown Atlanta, Shaky Knees draws 40,000 over three days.
Urban concentration, Hicks said, would follow a factor such as automation.
On December 20, 2015, a mountain of urban refuse collapsed in Shenzhen, China, killing at least 69 people and destroying dozens of buildings.
L.A. is certainly a different beast than most urban centers—
In 2014, the Cincinnati Squash Academy, an urban squash program targeting students in underserved communities, opened its doors.
Rap clubs and urban radio stations weren’t playing their records.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'urban'. 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.
Origin and Etymology of urban
Latin urbanus, from urbs city
First Known Use: circa 1634See Words from the same year
URBAN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of urban for English Language Learners
: of or relating to cities and the people who live in them
URBAN Defined for Kids
Definition of urban for Students
: of, relating to, or being a city urban life
Seen and Heard
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