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 But the tanker industry might also be an early illustration of how parts of the private sector stand to profit from a warming and fast-urbanizing world. Peter Schwartzstein, New York Times, "The Merchants of Thirst," 11 Jan. 2020 However, although Vietnam is urbanizing, almost two-thirds of its population still live in rural areas. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "How new technology is transforming Vietnam's economy," 6 Apr. 2020 While Manhattan was urbanizing, Queens, a patchwork of commercial nurseries, was more pastoral. New York Times, "The Neighborhood Name Game," 6 Mar. 2020 At the same time, the world population is growing and urbanizing rapidly. Alexis Benveniste, CNN, "Elon Musk's brother wants to transform farming," 28 Feb. 2020 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

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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Last Updated

24 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Urbanize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urbanize. Accessed 31 May. 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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