Definition of urban in English:



  • 1In, relating to, or characteristic of a town or city.

    ‘the urban population’
    • ‘If you compare the urban areas of the two towns, they have very similar funding levels.’
    • ‘He says the action is in the cities, where urban elites are the future of the country.’
    • ‘It sees the area around City Hall as a lake and the rest of the city as a vast urban park with shops, houses and a dramatic bridge of learning.’
    • ‘It is one of only two formal ways for members of the rural population to move to urban areas.’
    • ‘The town was one of the six fastest growing urban areas in Ireland, according to the last census.’
    • ‘Apart from such forest types one can see this tree in urban and suburban areas close to the city, he adds.’
    • ‘I'm becoming increasingly interested in urban design and town planning, mainly as a consumer.’
    • ‘Ballina Town Council has drawn up new by-laws to amend speed limits on urban roads in the town.’
    • ‘The growth of large civilisations has meant that large cities and urban areas have been built in many parts of the world.’
    • ‘Dublin was the earliest of the Irish towns to take on urban characteristics.’
    • ‘The city's own official urban designer, Sir Terry Farrell, called the scheme a disaster.’
    • ‘The growth in population is part of the city council's urban development strategy.’
    • ‘We both grew up in the city and are urban girls who love the country.’
    • ‘It may come as a surprise to city dwellers, but urban environments could be the ideal place for humans to live.’
    • ‘The development would either be an urban extension of the town or a new village.’
    • ‘A massive migration from rural to urban areas characterized the twentieth century.’
    • ‘We need to preserve places we can go to when we need to get away from the lunacy of urban, busy cities.’
    • ‘They live in a suburb of Boston in a mansion that looks like an urban city library.’
    • ‘The masterplan for Bradford aims to breathe new life into the city through an urban park, a lake and wetlands.’
    • ‘It is a dense city with distinct urban cores, practical and delightful to traverse on foot.’
    built-up, town, city, inner-city, densely populated, townified, citified, metropolitan, suburban, non-rural
    View synonyms
  • 2Denoting or relating to popular dance music associated with black performers.

    ‘hip-hop's traditionally urban vibe’
    • ‘They are also more tuned in to radio, listening some 22.6 hours per week, and often turn their dials to black gospel and urban contemporary stations.’
    • ‘Remember, many an urban music legend started out playing to their teddy bears.’
    • ‘It may be more commercial than the urban sound of earlier tracks, but that's no bad thing.’
    • ‘It snowballed from pirates and urban stations to the mainstream shows it's getting played on now.’
    • ‘It was a crucible of new black urban music, influenced by American jazz.’
    • ‘It's darker, more urban and a more personal record with the focus having shifted to one of song writing as well as tune making.’
    • ‘For instance, if someone is listening to an urban contemporary station, the candidate advertisements should reflect the same format and use similar types of music.’
    • ‘I think of all these styles as being forms of modern urban folk music.’
    • ‘This is on urban contemporary radio stations, primarily.’
    • ‘This is a critical function that for me is missing from the more urban genres of music.’
    • ‘They're the ones bringing out the major stars, especially in urban music.’
    • ‘Unlike many urban albums The Diary of Alicia Keys is refreshing in its lack of featured artists.’
    • ‘A lot of urban artists were being dropped and there was general confusion of viability of urban music.’
    • ‘As a solo performer from the 1970s onwards, he's been one of the staples of urban contemporary music.’
    • ‘The artist has developed a huge following for the way in which his urban sound fuses elements of R'n'B, rap and soul.’
    • ‘With live bass and drums, synths and samples Tokyo specialise in squelchy electronica with a dark urban edge.’
    • ‘Based on sales, it explores the best in rock, urban, dance and indie music.’
    • ‘It's a fact that the UK's urban music scene produces blistering talent that just cannot be ignored.’
    • ‘Like most in the urban music scene Michael is frustrated by the lack of support shown to homegrown acts in the UK.’
    • ‘He continues to set the standards that so many urban artists fail to reach.’
    1. 2.1 Denoting popular black culture in general.
      ‘an urban comedy’
      ‘urban clothing and street wear’
      • ‘The accompanying music is pretty standard urban fare, with a touch of reggae thrown in for good measure.’
      • ‘I believe we had tapped into a culture - the very urban world of street racing.’
      • ‘It is precisely this shift in thought, this disconnect between urban contemporary life and nature that Green hopes to remedy.’
      • ‘It is the music of young urban Britain-both black and white. Much of garage is no more than commercial pop music.’
      • ‘It was much simpler in the old days when everyone had to decorate their homes with the look of the moment, whether it was casual ethnic, urban contemporary, country floral or shabby chic.’
      • ‘Their songs spoke of the black urban experience with a directness seldom heard before.’
      • ‘This urban contemporary collection keeps things in perspective with simple forms, clean lines and subtle shapes.’
      • ‘Do you feel an ethnic evolution is occurring in the urban scene and what will you do for this important cause?’
      • ‘Our ultimate goal is to teach them how to take orders at the front counter while talking to customers in hip urban contemporary slang.’
      • ‘The Clothes Show Live is not well known for being a hotbed of urban talent.’
      • ‘It wasn't only us who were keen to throw off our city suits and urban combat trousers.’
      • ‘The term originally referred to stylized speech used by American urban black youth.’
      • ‘The only female in the group was clad in a pair of urban camouflaged trousers, fingerless gloves and a black vest.’
      • ‘He looked out of place and his use of urban street lingo was confusing.’
      • ‘Like Byrne, all these writers understand the dark comedy that emerges from tough urban experience.’
      • ‘If you're looking for some urban streetwear, this is where it's at.’
      • ‘We said we were the best urban magazine.’
      • ‘Hunter's dialogue is urban contemporary and quick, and the story his characters tell makes one think about the consequences that result from the choices we can make.’
      • ‘Sean, for sure, is still finding himself and enjoying all sides of the urban scene.’


Early 17th century: from Latin urbanus, from urbs, urb- ‘city’.