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[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 urbanely
Historical Examples
  • That Harry should hold his own did not surprise her; it was rather unexpected that he should do it so lightly and so urbanely.

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
  • urbanely he handed her into the coach, and, after her, her woman.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • Panshin counted ninety, and began calmly and urbanely taking tricks with a severe and dignified expression of face.

    A House of Gentlefolk Ivan Turgenev
  • “Monsieur is doubtless a great traveller,” he remarked, urbanely.

    The Traitors E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim
  • urbanely he desired to have the honour of being acquainted with their names.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • Mr. Soloman urbanely touches her on the arm—begs she will keep her seat.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Any one of my servants,” he said urbanely, “who wait in the adjoining room, will order you an arabîyeh.

  • "I am going to ask that very question of you," said Norton urbanely.

    The Million Dollar Mystery Harold MacGrath
  • "Rather to change with you, sir," said the other urbanely, and drew out his own chased and medallioned box.

    Audrey Mary Johnston
  • "I am obliged to you for your Hebrew poem in honour of my project," he said urbanely.

    Ghetto Tragedies Israel Zangwill
British Dictionary definitions for urbanely


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 urbanely



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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