ur·​ban·​ize | \ ˈər-bə-ˌnīz How to pronounce urbanize (audio) \
urbanized; urbanizing

Definition of urbanize

transitive verb

1 : to cause to take on urban characteristics urbanized areas
2 : to impart an urban way of life to urbanize migrants from rural areas

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Synonyms for urbanize


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Examples of urbanize in a Sentence

every September the city of Boston urbanizes a new crop of college students from small towns across the country
Recent Examples on the Web Now, the rapidly urbanizing county is beginning a discussion that could result in a change to that agreement. Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, "In housing-hungry Arlington, officials study whether to allow more duplexes, triplexes," 28 Dec. 2019 Poised, beautifully spoken and always immaculately dressed, Mr. Byrne provided an insecure and rapidly urbanizing small country with a model of quiet authority — Johnny Carson, Walter Cronkite and Oprah Winfrey rolled into one. New York Times, "Gay Byrne, Who Tackled Taboos as Ireland’s TV Host, Dies at 85," 7 Nov. 2019 Poised, beautifully spoken, and always immaculately dressed, Mr. Byrne provided an insecure and rapidly urbanizing small country with a modern face of quiet authority — Johnny Carson, Walter Cronkite, and Oprah Winfrey rolled into one. BostonGlobe.com, "Gay Byrne, who tackled taboos as Ireland’s TV host, dies at 85 - The Boston Globe," 9 Nov. 2019 The program, widely seen as the White House’s Africa strategy, was designed to provide technical help to companies trying to enter or expand in Africa, which is urbanizing more quickly than anywhere else. Danielle Paquette, Washington Post, "As the U.S. looks elsewhere, Russia seeks a closer relationship with Africa," 25 Oct. 2019 To move beyond subsistence agriculture, politicians must invest billions in public services and infrastructure such as water and electricity to serve a rapidly urbanizing citizenry. Washington Post, "How Booming Population Is Challenging Africa," 17 May 2019 In Gambia, an overwhelmingly young and quickly urbanizing nation that now has one of the highest rates of mobile phone use in Africa, listeners stretch from the capital, Banjul, into the countryside and abroad to the diaspora. Julie Turkewitz, BostonGlobe.com, "Seeking the truth about atrocities in Gambia, live on YouTube," 1 Sep. 2019 Like most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania is urbanizing while still poor. Nichole Sobecki, National Geographic, "This Tanzanian city may soon be one of the world’s most populous. Is it ready?," 5 Apr. 2019 The sport is losing its popularity among younger Americans as cultural attitudes about hunting change, and the country continues to urbanize. Laurel Chor, Quartz, "Western hunting outfitters think China is the future of the market," 8 July 2019

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

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for urbanize

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The first known use of urbanize was in 1836

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Statistics for urbanize

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Urbanize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urbanize. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on urbanize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for urbanize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with urbanize

Britannica English: Translation of urbanize for Arabic Speakers

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