[ ur-buh n ]
/ ˈɜr bən /


of, relating to, or designating a city or town.
living in a city.
characteristic of or accustomed to cities; citified: He is an urban type.

Origin of urban

1610–20; < Latin urbānus, equivalent to urb- (stem of urbs) city + -ānus -an
Related formsan·ti·ur·ban, adjectivenon·ur·ban, adjectivesem·i·ur·ban, adjectiveun·ur·ban, adjective
Can be confusedrural suburban urban (see synonym study at rural)urban urbane
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for semiurban


/ (ˈɜːbən) /


of, relating to, or constituting a city or town
living in a city or town
(of music) emerging and developing in densely populated areas of large cities, esp those populated by people of African or Caribbean originCompare rural

Word Origin for urban

C17: from Latin urbānus, from urbs city
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

Word Origin and History for semiurban



"characteristic of city life," 1610s (but rare before 1830s), from Latin urbanus "of or pertaining to a city or city life," as a noun, "city dweller," from urbs (genitive urbis) "city," of unknown origin. The word gradually emerged in this sense as urbane became restricted to manners and styles of expression. In late 20c. American English gradually acquiring a suggestion of "African-American." Urban renewal, euphemistic for "slum clearance," is attested from 1955, American English. Urban sprawl recorded by 1958. Urban legend attested by 1980.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper