urban sprawl


Definition of urban sprawl

: the spreading of urban developments (such as houses and shopping centers) on undeveloped land near a city

Examples of urban sprawl in a Sentence

efforts to stop urban sprawl

Recent Examples on the Web

As a city, Houston has long been famous for its urban sprawl. Michelle Sandlin, Houston Chronicle, "On the Move: Houston’s urban environment attracts newcomers," 23 June 2019 And thanks to the growth of both areas, the urban sprawl between the two is probably 10-15 years away from melding the two metros, with small cities like San Marcos and New Braunfels (Kliff Kingsbury’s hometown!) in between. Conor Orr, SI.com, "Which Cities Would Deserve the Newest NFL Expansion Team?," 7 June 2019 Today, both ends of the trail are embedded in a thoroughly urban sprawl of malls and traffic jams, but the middle remains a delicious haven of peace. National Geographic, "10 ancient highways around the world," 3 Apr. 2019 Focusing on the biophysical rules that control these bacterial cities at the microscale might just give scientists a way to halt the urban sprawl and give more humans a fighting chance. Carrie Arnold, Quanta Magazine, "Building Codes for Bacterial Cities," 25 July 2017 Meanwhile, all that urban sprawl is causing structures around the world—churches, inns, and general stores included—to go up for sale. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Tired of Your One-Bedroom? You Can Own This Entire Town For Less Than A U.S. Home," 17 May 2019 But Washington Road still maintains that distinctly American feel of urban sprawl run amok. Paul Newberry, The Seattle Times, "Outside Masters, Washington Road bustles in its tacky glory," 13 Apr. 2019 For one week a year, urban sprawl gets a chance to shine in all its tacky glory. Paul Newberry, The Seattle Times, "Outside Masters, Washington Road bustles in its tacky glory," 13 Apr. 2019 The county’s staff report points out that in 1991 Seminole designated roughly a third of the eastern side of the county as rural to preserve the pasturelands, environmentally-sensitive wetlands and Econlockhatchee River from urban sprawl. Martin E. Comas, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Seminole County report blasts plan to build hundreds of homes in rural area," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'urban sprawl.' 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 urban sprawl

1934, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for urban sprawl

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for urban sprawl

The first known use of urban sprawl was in 1934

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More Definitions for urban sprawl

urban sprawl


English Language Learners Definition of urban sprawl

: a situation in which large stores, groups of houses, etc., are built in an area around a city that formerly had few people living in it

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with urban sprawl

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