"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[urn] /ɜrn/
a large or decorative vase, especially one with an ornamental foot or pedestal.
a vase for holding the ashes of the cremated dead.
a large metal container with a spigot, used for making or serving tea or coffee in quantity.
Botany. the spore-bearing part of the capsule of a moss, between lid and seta.
Origin of urn
1325-75; Middle English urne < Latin urna earthen vessel for ashes, water, etc., akin to urceus pitcher, Greek hýrchē jar
Related forms
urnlike, adjective
Can be confused
earn, urn. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for urn
  • One of them shows four people standing beside a large, ornate urn with a backdrop of bright, red-tinged mountains.
  • The device consisted of a weight delicately suspended in a large bronze urn, ringed by dragons with hinged jaws.
  • As the story unfolds you find yourself in search of the lost pieces to the magical urn.
  • The trophy for winning the series is a tiny urn containing century-old ashes of a set of cricket stumps.
  • In this garden, a stone is used instead of an urn to create a recirculating fountain.
  • The glistening celadon green urn creates a cool, eye-catching fountain on a rear terrace.
  • The urn is opened every two weeks or so and stirred.
  • But before the last rain, a squadron was in the neighborhood, and the crows took turns landing on my urn.
  • It's named for the carefully sculpted urn above its pediment.
  • We are able to endure the idea of suffering in the flesh more easily than the destruction of the uniquely well-wrought urn.
British Dictionary definitions for urn


a vaselike receptacle or vessel, esp a large bulbous one with a foot
a vase used as a receptacle for the ashes of the dead
a large vessel, usually of metal, with a tap, used for making and holding tea, coffee, etc
(botany) the spore-producing capsule of a moss
Derived Forms
urnlike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin ūrna; related to Latin ūrere to burn, urceus pitcher, Greek hurkhē jar
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 urn

late 14c., "vase used to preserve the ashes of the dead," from Latin urna "a jar, vessel," probably from earlier *urc-na, akin to urceus "pitcher, jug," and from the same source as Greek hyrke "earthen vessel." But another theory connects it to Latin urere "to burn" (cf. bust (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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urn in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for urn


universal resource name
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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