\ 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 final urn’s destination is still being decided. Katy Reckdahl, NOLA.com, "In Central City, new marker notes 1900 New Orleans 'mass lynching'," 19 Dec. 2020 Women also placed strips of paper with their names in a giant urn, as part of the celebration. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "The Real History of Valentine's Day, Explained," 22 Dec. 2020 But what Howe is really looking for is far more precious -- the wooden urn containing her mother’s ashes. oregonlive, "Locals band together, grieve amid remains of Beachie Creek wildfire devastation," 26 Sep. 2020 At one point, Robinson even carries around a 2020 urn. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Yearly Departed Is the Funeral 2020 Deserves," 14 Dec. 2020 Freddy could not bring himself to bring her urn to the crypt until October. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "The Friend COVID-19 Took From Me," 11 Dec. 2020 Today, with the death toll in the coronavirus pandemic surpassing 10,000 in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, Jerry Samet’s ashes are in an urn. Washington Post, "Jerry Samet, who died this month of covid-19, was devoted to youth-leadership programs. From that work he built a family.," 10 Dec. 2020 Near the urn, a man approached the widower and expressed his sympathy. cincinnati.com, "Help support quality local journalism like this.," 10 Dec. 2020 Banchereau’s work ranges from minimal (a simple column of white tulips in a wooden vessel) to exuberant (unruly tumbles of mimosa, roses, carnations and thistles spilling from an antique urn). New York Times, "T Black Book: Florists," 18 Nov. 2020

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

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Urn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urn. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for urn


How to pronounce urn (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on urn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for urn

Nglish: Translation of urn for Spanish Speakers

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