: 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)
: 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 Horner pulled a small urn from his backpack and began to sob. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 The red urn that for years had given Page a semblance of comfort was probably filled with someone else’s ashes, three experts told her after reviewing the contents. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 Fill out the front steps with black lanterns, pumpkins, and urns filled with mums. Megan Boettcher, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Oct. 2023 In Lille, for example, that included mid-century French propaganda posters and a 19th century butter urn. Rachel Felder, Condé Nast Traveler, 23 Oct. 2023 Outside on the lawn, an over 8-foot tall urn by Mexican artist Eduardo Sarabia towered—its Chinoiserie-esque blue and white pattern featured unexpected hemp leaves. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 23 Oct. 2023 Large urns holding a tower of artificial pumpkins add height to the front door display. Megan Boettcher, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Oct. 2023 With the city’s death rate running at about 46,000 per year (roughly double the capacity of Shun Sum) in the past decade urn capacity has at times struggled to keep up. Kathleen Magramo, CNN, 7 July 2023 Prince William and Prince George Sport Matching Expressions at Surprise Outing to Soccer Game At the match, an ecstatic Prince George was also presented with a mini-replica of the Ashes urn by Richard Thompson, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 1 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'urn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English urne, from Latin urna

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near urn

Cite this Entry

“Urn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urn. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a container that has the form of a vase on a base and often is used for keeping the ashes of the dead
: a closed vessel usually with a faucet for serving a hot beverage
coffee urn

More from Merriam-Webster on urn

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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