urbane

Synonym Chooser

How is the word urbane different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of urbane are bland, diplomatic, politic, smooth, and suave. While all these words mean "pleasantly tactful and well-mannered," urbane implies high cultivation and poise coming from wide social experience.

an urbane traveler

When could bland be used to replace urbane?

In some situations, the words bland and urbane are roughly equivalent. However, bland emphasizes mildness of manner and absence of irritating qualities.

a bland master of ceremonies

When might diplomatic be a better fit than urbane?

The synonyms diplomatic and urbane are sometimes interchangeable, but diplomatic stresses an ability to deal with ticklish situations tactfully.

a diplomatic negotiator

When is politic a more appropriate choice than urbane?

While in some cases nearly identical to urbane, politic implies shrewd as well as tactful and suave handling of people.

a cunningly politic manager

Where would smooth be a reasonable alternative to urbane?

While the synonyms smooth and urbane are close in meaning, smooth suggests often a deliberately assumed suavity.

a smooth salesman

When can suave be used instead of urbane?

Although the words suave and urbane have much in common, suave suggests a specific ability to deal with others easily and without friction.

a suave public relations coordinator

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Cite this Entry

“Urbane.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/urbane. Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

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