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 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 And coastal risk is building even faster through the surge in populations in a fast-urbanizing world. Andrew Revkin, National Geographic, "Floating cities could ease the world’s housing crunch, the UN says," 5 Apr. 2019 The $50-million program will offer technical help to companies looking to enter or grow in Africa, which is urbanizing more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth. Washington Post, "Trump administration unveils its new Africa strategy — with wins and snags," 20 June 2019 These dingy apartments were on the most coveted plots of city real estate, and as China urbanized, their value rocketed. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "China’s debt disease might wreck its uncrashable housing market," 11 June 2019 Much of Latin America also urbanized rapidly without services such as schooling and policing, creating belts of excluded groups around cities. David Luhnow, WSJ, "Latin America Is the Murder Capital of the World," 20 Sep. 2018 Cities in the less developed and more rapidly urbanizing parts of the world, such as Ho Chi Minh City and Mumbai, may experience even more substantial losses as a percentage of their total economic output. Richard Florida, WIRED, "Climate Change Will Force the Poor From Their Homes," 13 July 2018

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

The first known use of urbanize was in 1836

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with urbanize

Britannica English: Translation of urbanize for Arabic Speakers

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