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 Shiner said the new product gains urgency in the wake of COVID-19. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "1Password acquires Dutch startup to hone secret-keeping," 13 Apr. 2021 The work has gained greater urgency as Minneapolis braces for the outcome of Mr. Chauvin’s trial on charges of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, "No badges. No guns. Can violence interrupters help Minneapolis?," 13 Apr. 2021 Introduced as an urgency statute in July 2019, AB 1054 passed both houses of the Legislature within a week. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ninth Circuit expresses doubt over challenge of California wildfire statute," 13 Apr. 2021 Now authorities have to motivate a population that feels little urgency to get vaccinated by using a mix of social pressure, incentives, education and coercion. Sha Hua, WSJ, "China’s Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign Gets Off to Slow Start," 10 Apr. 2021 Present drought conditions are raising fears that fire conditions could be even worse this year, bringing critical urgency to the state’s fire prevention and suppression plans. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: ‘Fire season has already started’," 9 Apr. 2021 There are several bipartisan policy proposals circulating in Washington to address patient safety, and the Press Ganey paper reinforces the urgency for Congress to act. Leah Binder, Forbes, "New Press Ganey Report Warns That Covid-19 May Have Worsened Hospital Safety," 9 Apr. 2021 The three vaccines authorized in the U.S. have proved effective against the variant, adding further urgency to the nation's inoculation program. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, "Hawaii to expand vaccine eligibility to all adults; Michigan should implement restrictions, CDC says. Latest COVID-19 updates," 8 Apr. 2021 In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer obtained by The Associated Press, the organizations indicated the matter takes on fresh urgency after passage of Georgia's more restrictive new elections law. Lisa Mascaro, Star Tribune, "Groups pressure Senate to end filibuster as Jim Crow relic," 8 Apr. 2021

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

Time Traveler for urgency

Time Traveler

The first known use of urgency was in 1540

See more words from the same year

Statistics for urgency

Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Urgency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urgency. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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