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

Backup catcher Victor Caratini might get an extra start before the next day off June 17, but the Cubs are in win-now mode and the regular lineup signals a sense of urgency in a competitive NL Central. 4. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "5 takeaways from the Cubs-Rockies series, including Carlos Gonzalez's impact and Carl Edwards Jr.'s rebound," 7 June 2019 Of course, executive orders are more flexible than legislation passed by two houses and signed by the governor, but Brown's order reflects urgency in the face of climate change after a summer of record wildfires. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "CA Gov. says 100% clean electricity not enough, state must go carbon neutral," 10 Sep. 2018 So that’s why there is more of a sense of urgency in summer. Jeff Tully, latimes.com, "Burbank football looking at summer with 'sense of urgency'," 19 June 2018 The emergency siren, of course, because the urgency to listen to the whole album was real. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Beyonce & Jay-Z's 'Everything is Love' Amasses 2.1 Million Tweets Since the Album Drop," 18 June 2018 And the Trump administration’s willingness to commit further cruelty only underscores the urgency in solving it. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Cruelty Is Trump’s Only Immigration Policy," 31 May 2018 The bill was first mooted in 2014 but has gained urgency with various ministries and financial agencies pushing for its passage this year. Bloomberg.com, "Jokowi Seeks to Curb Cash in Anti-Graft Push for Indonesia Vote," 19 Apr. 2018 But a defining feature of postwar European history is that grandiose calls-to-arms are rarely pursued with the same urgency—or the same fatal consequences—as in the first half of the 20th century. John Bew, WSJ, "‘The Global Age’ Review: Europe on the Upswing," 15 May 2019 Rische applies her crystalline Dolly Parton-ish twang to songs that bring a poetic urgency to blossoming, flourishing, or failing romance. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "At age 25, Lillie Mae is already a seasoned country lifer," 31 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of urgency

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about urgency

Dictionary Entries near urgency


urge incontinence




urgent care

urge on

Statistics for urgency

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for urgency

The first known use of urgency was in 1540

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!