9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for urbane
  • They didn't want to be better informed or urbane, or to know what is great in human achievement.
  • He was a good insurance broker: urbane and vigorous, and he could sell.
  • He was urbane, arch, ever-amused in a cosmopolitan way.
  • They have already tasted the fruits and sweets of the big city, and qualified as urban-perhaps better say urbane-sophisticates.
  • These antics are intended to suggest that all three characters are urbane patricians, filled with charm and worldly wisdom.
  • Without matching, the buildings compliment each other in a particularly urbane way and form an ensemble which should be preserved.
British Dictionary definitions for urbane


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 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
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