ur·gent | \ˈər-jənt \

Definition of urgent 

1a : calling for immediate attention : pressing urgent appeals an urgent need

b : conveying a sense of urgency

2 : urging insistently : importunate

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Other Words from urgent

urgently adverb

Examples of urgent in a Sentence

We've come to deliver an urgent message. an urgent appeal for assistance He addressed us in an urgent manner. An urgent voice came over the intercom, telling us to leave the building immediately.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The question has grown more urgent: Its answer may involve the kind of fast-moving climate event that could occur again. Christopher Mooney, BostonGlobe.com, "Scientists may have solved a huge riddle that led to more than 1,000 years of cold on Earth. It doesn’t bode well," 12 July 2018 The switch came in response to requests from both customers and store employees, the company said, and became more urgent as cold drinks—typically slurped through straws—surged in popularity. Julie Jargon, WSJ, "Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws by 2020," 9 July 2018 The recent rains of the monsoon season has made the rescue more urgent: flooding could seriously endanger the boys and further rescue attempt. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Four Boys Have Been Rescued From Thailand Caves," 8 July 2018 Divers pulling the 12 boys and their soccer coach from the cave were in a race against time, with the threat of rains making an already difficult rescue even more urgent. New York Times, "Thailand Cave Rescue Updates: 4 Team Members Are Out, 9 to Go," 8 July 2018 Their work has never felt more urgent than over the past nine months, after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and exposed the island's vulnerability to natural disasters and severe lack of homegrown food. Nicole Acevedo /, NBC News, "'The push we needed': Puerto Rico's local farmers step up efforts after Hurricane Maria," 6 July 2018 Ice bars have been a thing in Las Vegas for a while, but the searing heat may make going more urgent. Mary Forgione, latimes.com, "Happy Fry Day: Here's where to cool off, chill out and beat the Southern California heat," 6 July 2018 Helping parents stay vigilant with whatever may be going on with their children or the children’s peers has become more urgent in the wake of school violence, Turney said. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood library to host coping workshop for parents and children in wake of Santa Fe," 5 July 2018 Sadly, its humanistic message has only become more urgent in the decades since that film was made. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Citizen': Film Review," 5 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for urgent

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin urgent-, urgens, present participle of urgēre

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Statistics for urgent

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for urgent

The first known use of urgent was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for urgent



English Language Learners Definition of urgent

: very important and needing immediate attention

: showing that something is very important and needs immediate attention


ur·gent | \ˈər-jənt \

Kids Definition of urgent

1 : calling for immediate action an urgent need

2 : having or showing a sense of requiring immediate action She spoke in an urgent voice.

Other Words from urgent

urgently adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on urgent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for urgent

Spanish Central: Translation of urgent

Nglish: Translation of urgent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of urgent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on urgent

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


not any or not one

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