verb (used with object), urged, urg·ing.

verb (used without object), urged, urg·ing.


an act of urging; impelling action, influence, or force; impulse.
an involuntary, natural, or instinctive impulse: the sex urge.

Origin of urge

First recorded in 1550–60, urge is from the Latin word urgēre to press, force, drive, urge
Related formsurg·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·urge, verb, o·ver·urged, o·ver·urg·ing.un·urged, adjectiveun·urg·ing, adjective

Synonyms for urge

Antonyms for urge

1–3. deter. 4, 5. discourage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for urge

Contemporary Examples of urge

Historical Examples of urge

  • But why, when you know it does not, why should you thus perplex and urge me?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • In the one case, as she knew it, a girl under the urge of poverty had stolen.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Under the urge of it, he conquered—at last brought himself and his charge to the shore.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He was moved in his simplicity to urge moderation by asserting the claims of his own personality.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • Have you any proof to urge in support of your assertion that the prisoner did not touch it?

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for urge



(tr) to plead, press, or move (someone to do something)we urged him to surrender
(tr; may take a clause as object) to advocate or recommend earnestly and persistently; plead or insist onto urge the need for safety
(tr) to impel, drive, or hasten onwardshe urged the horses on
(tr) archaic, or literary to stimulate, excite, or incite


a strong impulse, inner drive, or yearning

Word Origin for urge

C16: from Latin urgēre
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 urge

1550s, from Latin urgere "to press hard, push, drive, compel," from PIE root *werg- "to work" (cf. Avestan vareza "work, activity;" Greek ergon "work," orgia "religious performances," organon "tool;" Armenian gorc "work;" Lithuanian verziu "tie, fasten, squeeze," vargas "need, distress;" Old Church Slavonic vragu "enemy;" Gothic waurkjan, Old English wyrcan "work;" Gothic wrikan "persecute," Old English wrecan "drive, hunt, pursue;" Old Norse yrka "work, take effect"). Related: Urged; urging.


1610s, from urge (v.); in frequent use after c.1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper