urbane

adjective ur·bane \ ˌər-ˈbān \

Definition of urbane

:notably polite or polished in manner

urbanely

adverb

urbane was our Word of the Day on 05/10/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of urbane in a Sentence

  1. The dialogue is witty and urbane.

  2. a gentlemanly and urbane host of elegant dinner parties

Recent Examples of urbane from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'urbane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

When Should You Use urbane?

City slickers and country folk have long debated whether life is better in town or in the wide open spaces, and urbane is a term that springs from the throes of that debate. The word traces back to Latin urbs, meaning "city," and in its earliest English uses urbane was synonymous with its close relative urban ("of, relating to, characteristic of, or constituting a city"). Urbane developed its modern sense of savoir faire from the belief (no doubt fostered by city dwellers) that living in the city made one more suave and polished than did leading a rural life.

Origin and Etymology of urbane

Latin urbanus urban, urbane

Synonym Discussion of urbane

suave, urbane, diplomatic, bland, smooth, politic mean pleasantly tactful and well-mannered. suave suggests a specific ability to deal with others easily and without friction.
    • a suave public relations coordinator
urbane implies high cultivation and poise coming from wide social experience.
    • an urbane traveler
diplomatic stresses an ability to deal with ticklish situations tactfully.
    • a diplomatic negotiator
bland emphasizes mildness of manner and absence of irritating qualities.
    • a bland master of ceremonies
smooth suggests often a deliberately assumed suavity.
    • a smooth salesman
politic implies shrewd as well as tactful and suave handling of people.
    • a cunningly politic manager

URBANE Defined for English Language Learners

urbane

adjective

Definition of urbane for English Language Learners

  • : polite and confident

  • : fashionable and somewhat formal



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up urbane? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to conform or adhere

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!