ur·​gen·​cy | \ ˈər-jən(t)-sē How to pronounce urgency (audio) \
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

The New York Times looks at the new urgency on the Democratic debate stage. NBC News, "Status quo remains intact after third Democratic debate," 13 Sep. 2019 After 9/11, her critiques took on a new, more poker-faced urgency, responding to a rush toward war and Big Brother society in the name of patriotism. Dennis Harvey, chicagotribune.com, "‘Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins’ review: a suitably entertaining tribute to a serious-minded and bluntly funny journalist," 12 Sep. 2019 Lately, my need for order had taken on a new urgency. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, "Can Bullet Journaling Save You?," 7 Sep. 2019 Fueled by discourse and community, this trifle for passing the time on the train or in a waiting room began to take on a new urgency. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Upstart Crossword Puzzle Builders Get Their Point Across (and Down)," 19 Aug. 2019 The dark clouds are converging as the president’s bid for a second term takes on new urgency. Jonathan Lemire, The Denver Post, "Trump heads for golf club holiday – but summer storms loom," 8 Aug. 2019 The idea took on new urgency after South Dakota this year passed laws aimed at potential Keystone XL protests. USA TODAY, "Milestone rhino, Bigfoot shooting, jailed for feeding cats: News from around our 50 states," 1 Aug. 2019 The talks have gone on for weeks but took on new urgency as deficit estimates worsened, creating an unacceptable risk of default in early to mid-September. CBS News, "Negotiators have reached agreement on key budget deal elements, Mnuchin says," 18 July 2019 That manufacturing migration has taken on more urgency for some producers as the trade conflict between the U.S. and Washington has heated up, with a new round of back-and-forth tariffs this spring and threats of higher levies this summer. Joanne Chiu, WSJ, "Logistics Bottlenecks Hamper Efforts to Produce Less in China," 23 May 2019

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

19 Sep 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 How to pronounce urgency (audio) \

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 How to pronounce urgency (audio) \
plural urgencies

Medical Definition of urgency

: a sudden compelling need to urinate or defecate

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More from Merriam-Webster on urgency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for urgency

Spanish Central: Translation of urgency

Nglish: Translation of urgency for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of urgency for Arabic Speakers

Comments on urgency

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


concealment of treason or felony

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