[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. urban vii,
  2. urban viii,
  3. urban wind,
  4. urbana,
  5. urbandale,
  6. urbanely,
  7. urbanisation,
  8. urbanism,
  9. urbanist,
  10. urbanistic

Origin of urbane

1525–35; (< Middle French urbain) < Latin urbānus (see urban; for difference in stress and second syllable cf. human, humane)

Related formsur·bane·ly, adverbur·bane·ness, nounun·ur·bane, adjectiveun·ur·bane·ly, adverb

Can be confusedurban urbane

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for urbane

British Dictionary definitions for urbane


/ (ɜːˈbeɪn) /


characterized by elegance or sophistication
Derived Formsurbanely, adverburbaneness, noun

Word Origin for urbane

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

Word Origin and History for urbane



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