\ 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 Finally, the ash would be poured into a box or urn for the family to keep or bury or scatter. Maggie Jones, New York Times, "The Movement to Bring Death Closer," 19 Dec. 2019 An urn and alternative container run $1,275 on average. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Pricing flights and cars online is common. Are funerals next? Founder of Funeralocity thinks so.," 22 Nov. 2019 On this visit, the courtyard of the house showcased the work of ceramic artist Liselotte Watkins—joyfully patterned urns and vases wittily disposed in the arches of a loggia among ancient Roman stone and marble busts and column capitals. Vogue, "Magic in the Moonlight: Hamish Bowles Toasts Laura Sartori Rimini’s Birthday Over a Picture-Perfect Capri Weekend," 1 Oct. 2019 The caskets and urns are handmade with oak, pine and hickory wood by Boy Scouts and woodworkers throughout the country. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cemetery for forgotten babies commemorates its 200th burial," 30 Sep. 2019 One family member found out months later after opening the urn and finding a bag of ashes labeled with a different name. oregonlive, "State inspections of funeral homes fall short in Oregon," 15 Sep. 2019 That anger is the reason Rice had Tamir’s body cremated and keeps his ashes at home in an urn, rather than choosing to spread them anywhere in Ohio. Leila Atassi, cleveland, "‘America has no dreams for black and brown people:’ Samaria Rice’s continuing journey, 5 years after police killed her son Tamir," 22 Nov. 2019 As with cremation, there are some remains left over after alkaline hydrolysis that families can keep in an urn or scatter in a special location. Becky Little, National Geographic, "The environmental toll of cremating the dead," 5 Nov. 2019 What to know about walking in the procession The first official event of the evening is a procession lead by the metal urn. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Tucson's All Souls Procession: How to take part, where to park and what it all means," 30 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for urn

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for urn

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Urn.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urn. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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

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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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