\ ˈərn How to pronounce urn (audio) \

Definition of urn

1 : a vessel that is typically an ornamental vase on a pedestal and that is used for various purposes (such as preserving the ashes of the dead after cremation)
2 : a closed vessel usually with a spigot for serving a hot beverage a coffee urn

Examples of urn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The urn holding his ashes remains inside a cardboard box. Michael Kunzelman, Fox News, "Deadly fire exposes wealthy man's secret underground tunnels," 9 Sep. 2018 Artist and friend Andrea Smith painted a trompe l’oeil marble wall with Grecian urns to complete the kitschy, decadent tableau. Monica Kim, Vogue, "James Veloria Christens JV Retreat—A Red Hot Vintage Playroom—With a ’90s Tom Ford Sale," 15 Nov. 2018 To display faux branches, select a heavy cylindrical vase, urn or planter that is tall and narrow at the top, instead of wide. Clare Miers, star-telegram, "Hatch a plan for your own Easter egg tree, perfect for a table centerpiece | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 23 Mar. 2018 Elton John reportedly burst into tears while paying his respects at Versace's Milan home, where his ashes were displayed in an urn. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Here's What Gianni Versace's Funeral Was Really Like," 22 Jan. 2018 One problem: the urn carrying his mom's remains wasn't closed and her ashes were spilled in the suitcase. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "TSA denies responsibility for late mother’s ashes spilling in NFL player’s suitcase," 10 July 2018 An urn containing his ashes was placed in the forefront. David Ginsburg, The Seattle Times, "Capital Gazette writer McNamara ‘always fair in his writing’," 10 July 2018 That week, employees were placing plants in urns and pots that would decorate the terrace garden and red carpet area, Bizzell said. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Thousands of blooming flowers make Churchill Downs the world's 'most iconic race track'," 1 May 2018 The pastor offers to transport Jack's urn to the reception, but Rebecca insists on taking it herself. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "'This Is Us' Season 2 Episode 15 Recap: Jack's Funeral Was More Devastating Than His Death," 6 Feb. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for urn

Middle English urne, from Latin urna

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Dictionary Entries near urn






urn burial


Statistics for urn

Last Updated

28 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for urn

The first known use of urn was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for urn



English Language Learners Definition of urn

: a container that is often shaped like a vase with a closed top and that is used to hold the ashes of someone who has been cremated
: a closed container with a faucet near the bottom which is used to serve hot drinks


\ ˈərn How to pronounce urn (audio) \

Kids Definition of urn

1 : a container usually in the form of a vase resting on a stand
2 : a closed container with a faucet used for serving a hot beverage a coffee urn

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More from Merriam-Webster on urn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with urn

Spanish Central: Translation of urn

Nglish: Translation of urn for Spanish Speakers

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