Word of the Day : May 10, 2016

urbane

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adjective er-BAYN

Definition

: notably polite or polished in manner

Did You Know?

City slickers and country folk have long debated whether life is better in town or in the wide open spaces, and urbane is a term that springs from the throes of that debate. The word traces back to Latin urbs, meaning "city," and in its earliest English uses urbane was synonymous with its close relative urban ("of, relating to, characteristic of, or constituting a city"). Urbane developed its modern sense of savoir faire from the belief (no doubt fostered by city dwellers) that living in the city made one more suave and polished than did leading a rural life.


Examples

Deirdre was an urbane and sociable party guest who could seamlessly transition from one conversation to the next.

"In its heyday among the mod generation, the writing essentially peddled the fantasy of being a more sedentary James Bond: a sophisticated and urbane man about town, drowning in lady friends." — Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View (bloombergview.com), 13 Oct. 2015



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