\yu̇-ˈrē-ə \

Definition of urea 

: a soluble weakly basic nitrogenous compound CO(NH2)2 that is the chief solid component of mammalian urine and an end product of protein decomposition, is synthesized from carbon dioxide and ammonia, and is used especially in synthesis (as of resins and plastics) and in fertilizers and animal rations

Examples of urea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Commission said its probe was focused on diesel emission control systems involving the injection of urea solution into exhaust to remove harmful nitrogen oxides. Lorne Cook, The Seattle Times, "EU investigates German carmakers for possible collusion," 18 Sep. 2018 Kaleido is conducting clinical trials for a drug to treat urea cycle disorders by targeting gut chemistry. Jonathan Saltzman, BostonGlobe.com, "Bedford startup Kaleido Biosciences raises $101 million in funding round," 25 June 2018 According to Nails magazine, the most common active ingredients found in callus-removing formulas are urea, salicylic acid (which is commonly found in acne treatments) and potassium hydroxide. Marci Robin, Good Housekeeping, "Woman Says She Suffered Horrifying Burns on Her Foot During Salon Pedicure," 7 Nov. 2017 Rather than having the back of the heel shaved or pumiced off at your pedicure appointment, routine applications of a cream boasting a 20 to 40 percent concentration of urea on the label will create a smoother surface all year long. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "The Blister Survival Guide for Summer Shoes," 10 June 2018 The Oregon plant produces the chemical compound urea, among other things, as fertilizer for the agricultural industry. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Manufacturing plant near St. Helens that emitted tons of hazardous ammonia to pay $250,000 fine," 4 June 2018 Wood frogs hold in urine all winter as a survival mechanism by recycling urea, according to a study published Tuesday. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Wood frogs' winter survival may depend on holding in urine: study," 2 May 2018 For a mild yet effective treatment, Dr. Wechsler suggests exfoliating with a brown sugar scrub, microdermabrasion (a device that gently sands down and softens the skin), or urea gels. Talia Abbas, SELF, "I Have Keratosis Pilaris. These 8 Products Actually Smoothed My Skin.," 7 Apr. 2018 This fact requires manufactures to produce unique engines specific to the American market, including the addition of awkward urea tanks for trapping nitrous oxide. Philip Armour, Popular Mechanics, "The Fledgling Revival of American Diesel," 6 Mar. 2018

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

1806, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for urea

New Latin, from French urée, from urine

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Statistics for urea

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for urea

The first known use of urea was in 1806

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More Definitions for urea



English Language Learners Definition of urea

: a substance that contains nitrogen, is found in the urine of mammals and some fish, and is used in some kinds of fertilizer


\yu̇-ˈrē-ə \

Kids Definition of urea

: a compound of nitrogen that is the chief solid substance dissolved in the urine of a mammal and is formed by the breaking down of protein


\yu̇-ˈrē-ə \

Medical Definition of urea 

: a soluble weakly basic nitrogenous compound CH4N2O that is the chief solid component of mammalian urine and an end product of protein decomposition and that is administered intravenously as a diuretic drug

called also carbamide

More from Merriam-Webster on urea

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about urea

Comments on urea

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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