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 formsur·bane·ly, adverbur·bane·ness, nounun·ur·bane, adjectiveun·ur·bane·ly, adverb
Can be confusedurban urbane

Synonyms for urbane

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

Examples from the Web for urbane

Contemporary Examples of urbane

Historical Examples of urbane

  • And always the Phillips manner was kind and gracious and urbane.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • He's so urbane in his brutality; that's what makes it so crushing.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

  • "I perfectly agree with you," said the other, with an urbane bow.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • But he snubbed her with a sharpness very unlike his urbane self.

    Good Old Anna

    Marie Belloc Lowndes

  • Your custom of pairing is not what you call 'urbane' on this world.

    The Galaxy Primes

    Edward Elmer Smith

British Dictionary definitions for urbane



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