ur·​gen·​cy | \ ˈər-jən(t)-sē \
plural urgencies

Definition of urgency

1 : the quality or state of being urgent : insistence
2 : a force or impulse that impels or constrains : urge

Examples of urgency in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But the lack of urgency regarding women of color in the film industry is hardly a surprise. Kyndall Cunningham, Glamour, "The Oscar Race Is All About Gaga vs. Glenn—But What About Women of Color?," 22 Jan. 2019 Although officials at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries don’t plan to meet directly with politicians and policy makers, the case for a lobbying effort has taken on new urgency. Timothy Puko, WSJ, "OPEC Weighs a First-Ever Influence Campaign in the U.S.," 11 Jan. 2019 But Hurricane Maria gave these efforts new urgency. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How architects and designers are rebuilding Puerto Rico," 20 Sep. 2018 With the expansion of autonomous weapons across the globe, the question has taken on a new urgency. Caroline Lester, The Atlantic, "What Happens When Your Bomb-Defusing Robot Becomes a Weapon," 26 Apr. 2018 But Sunset Overdrive's sense of urgency, fueled by a need for perpetual motion, never wanes. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Sunset Overdrive review: Ride the rails to kaboom-town (finally on PCs, too)," 17 Nov. 2018 That added urgency to the gathering’s mission—protecting the nation’s election machinery in November. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Trump scores on his own goal," 16 July 2018 Heavy rains are about to fall over the lush mountain range that houses the cave, adding urgency to the rescue. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Four boys removed from Thailand cave as divers race to beat the rains," 9 July 2018 That possibly takes something away from this play, depriving it of an urgency, which Grandage distracts from by upping the farcical energy. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Lieutenant of Inishmore': Theater Review," 5 July 2018

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

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near urgency


urge incontinence




urgent care

urge on

Statistics for urgency

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for urgency

The first known use of urgency was in 1540

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More Definitions for urgency


ur·​gen·​cy | \ ˈər-jən-sē \

Kids Definition of urgency

: the quality or state of requiring immediate action or attention “Let's get out of here!” he said with a sense of urgency.


ur·​gen·​cy | \ ˈər-jən-sē \
plural urgencies

Medical Definition of urgency

: a sudden compelling need to urinate or defecate

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More from Merriam-Webster on urgency

Spanish Central: Translation of urgency

Nglish: Translation of urgency for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of urgency for Arabic Speakers

Comments on urgency

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irregularly rounded

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