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[ur-beyn] /ɜrˈbeɪn/
having the polish and suavity regarded as characteristic of sophisticated social life in major cities:
an urbane manner.
reflecting elegance, sophistication, etc., especially in expression:
He maintained an urbane tone in his letters.
Origin of urbane
1525-35; (< Middle French urbain) < Latin urbānus (see urban; for difference in stress and second syllable cf. human, humane)
Related forms
urbanely, adverb
urbaneness, noun
unurbane, adjective
unurbanely, adverb
Can be confused
urban, urbane.
1. suave, cosmopolitan. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for urbanely
Historical Examples
  • urbanely he desired to have the honour of being acquainted with their names.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • urbanely he handed her into the coach, and, after her, her woman.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • “Monsieur is doubtless a great traveller,” he remarked, urbanely.

    The Traitors

    E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim
  • All was smoothly, exquisitely polished: urbanely, beautifully French.

    The Genius

    Margaret Horton Potter
  • "I could have let the carabinieri take you to prison," he said urbanely.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • "Please choose a position among these ladies," said Foyle urbanely.

    The Grell Mystery Frank Froest
  • Mr. Soloman urbanely touches her on the arm—begs she will keep her seat.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • "We know what we know, Monsieur Peyrolles," he said, urbanely.

    The Duke's Motto Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • Since the essay is urbanely personal, it does not take itself too seriously.

    Expository Writing Mervin James Curl
  • "Eet is for warning," said "The Wonderful Whalley" urbanely.

    The Flying Death Samuel Hopkins Adams
British Dictionary definitions for urbanely


characterized by elegance or sophistication
Derived Forms
urbanely, adverb
urbaneness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin urbānus belonging to the town; see urban
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for urbanely



1530s, "of or relating to cities or towns," from Middle French urbain (14c.), from Latin urbanus "belonging to a city," also "citified, elegant" (see urban). The meaning "having the manners of townspeople, courteous, refined" is first attested 1620s. Urbanity in this sense is recorded from 1530s. For sense connection, cf. human/humane.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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