Definition of urge in English:



  • 1 Try earnestly or persistently to persuade (someone) to do something.

    ‘he urged her to come and stay with us’
    [with direct speech] ‘‘Do try to relax,’ she urged’
    • ‘We urge him to persuade the president to help mediate the situation.’
    • ‘Those critics argue that polls on the Internet or on TV urging people to call in and vote should not be called polls.’
    • ‘Mr Bayley urged him to put pressure on the Environment Agency to publish the report as soon as possible.’
    • ‘If you're based in the UK and missed this series first time round I strongly urge you to give it a try.’
    • ‘Officers urged her to press charges, but her family persuaded her not to.’
    • ‘Our prime minister urges us ‘not to argue about what has been’.’
    • ‘Then he managed to persuade two decisive figures in the enterprise to urge other workers to go back to their posts.’
    • ‘It is for this reason that I urge you to look at both systems and try them out.’
    • ‘Today the Evening Press urges readers to reveal the city's streets of shame.’
    • ‘I like the way the newspaper urges its readers to cajole their peers into voting.’
    • ‘For some time Fernando has been urging me to join him on his rounds.’
    • ‘For this reason he urged people to send their Christmas mail as early as possible.’
    • ‘If you don't quite see the point after the first one, I urge you to persist and everything will become clear.’
    • ‘Kennedy, dressed in a sober grey suit, blushed as the press urged him to kiss his wife on the lips.’
    • ‘The Evening Press is urging readers to write with their views on the urgent need for the flyover.’
    • ‘I urge all reasonable people to do what they can to support this bill.’
    • ‘I wasn't convinced, and something kept urging me towards a small box that was sitting high up on top of a pile of boxes against the wall.’
    • ‘A fire outbreak would be used as a reason to knock on doors and urge residents to check on smoke alarms.’
    • ‘We urge readers to apply pressure on their local MP to back reform of the present wholly inadequate law.’
    • ‘I am getting so bored with this for some reason but my dear friend Abbess is urging me to continue so I must.’
    1. 1.1Recommend (something) strongly.
      ‘I urge caution in interpreting these results’
      [with clause] ‘they are urging that more treatment facilities be provided’
      • ‘I would just urge a bit of caution around the tightening of that parameter.’
      • ‘As far as legalization is concerned, Alexander urges caution.’
      • ‘Until good evidence is available, we urge caution in interpreting eye findings out of context.’
      • ‘The response has been excellent and strong support for this most worthy cause is urged.’
      • ‘In a recent newspaper column, Paul resurrects the medical care debate, and strongly urges the implementation of a socialist system of healthcare.’
      • ‘My horoscope urges caution when making large purchases, which is timely, as I'll be ordering a laptop this weekend.’
      • ‘He has so far remained silent on the issue, although it has been previously suggested he was urging caution.’
      • ‘However, I'm pleased to see several readers urging caution about our natural urge to charge after the most likely suspects with all guns blazing.’
      • ‘But before we all get too carried away, the front page of today's newspaper urges caution.’
      • ‘Finally, Mahan advocated and strongly urged the building of what he called an Isthmian canal.’
      • ‘However, the organization establishes the following principles and strongly urges their adoption by other federations.’
      • ‘Mr Pickles urges caution and suggests a figure of £12,000.’
      • ‘Even Mr Wightman had to step in at that point to urge caution.’
      • ‘With the magazine warning the globe is sitting on the biggest bubble ever, it is time to urge caution.’
      • ‘She should take the opportunity tomorrow and on Friday to urge restraint, caution and a peaceful protest.’
      • ‘However, Symes urges caution: ‘You need strong nerves to invest in some of these centres, and do so at your peril.’’
      • ‘Since 1962, the government has used an array of slogans urging discipline and support for the regime and the military.’
      • ‘The Institute of Sports and Recreation Managers said it had written to its 10,000 members urging caution.’
      • ‘A BBC spokesman urged businesses to be cautious if they received unsolicited phone calls.’
      • ‘The other Europeans, who have urged caution and diplomacy, will not be so forthright.’
      advise, counsel, advocate, recommend, suggest
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[with object and adverbial]Encourage (a person or animal) to move more quickly or in a particular direction.
      ‘drawing up outside the house, he urged her inside’
      • ‘They rode through the night, urging their horses onwards.’
      • ‘The driver urges the horses quickly through the near-empty town.’
      • ‘He gripped the reins tighter and leaned forward, urging his horse on to simply ride past the man, perhaps cutting him down as he went by.’
      • ‘Ralier kept urging the horse to move, but the animal didn't need persuasion.’
      • ‘Mihra shook her head, as if to clear it, then placed pressure on the horse's side with a leg, urging him in the other direction.’
      • ‘The few people in the street suddenly stopped went they saw us, either staring at me or urging their children quickly indoors.’
      • ‘Jumping onto his horse, he urged her over the river and up the grassy bank.’
      • ‘With a wink at Joe, he flicked the reins urging the team of horses forward.’
      • ‘Tilkin leaned lower, pushing Ereana down and urging the horse forward.’
      • ‘They were at the waiting helicopter now and Jim opened the back door, urging Blair inside, then he turned back to Simon.’
      • ‘The weight presses down on you as the signs urge you onwards.’
      encourage, try to persuade, enjoin, adjure, admonish, press, prompt, prod, goad, egg on, spur, push, pressure, put pressure on, use pressure on, pressurize, lean on
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Encourage someone to continue or succeed.
      ‘he could hear her voice urging him on’
      • ‘But Sligo, with their thousands of fans urging them on, refused to lie down and kept coming back at Armagh.’
      • ‘The look in Will's eyes urged her on.’
      • ‘I am not rushing you, merely urging you on towards a speedy decision.’
      • ‘You going to know if things are not going well, you'll be on standby expecting the worst, and you'll be urging them on mentally and really pushing them as much as you can.’
      • ‘The prospect of warmth urging me on, I hurried down the short slope to the double doors at what I assumed was the front of the Greening.’
      • ‘I won't go as far as wearing a claret and blue scarf, but I will be urging them on to win.’
      • ‘One of our leading young historians urges them on.’
      • ‘It could be as close as a step in front of him urging him on, or a distant goal to rush toward.’
      • ‘He sat in front, nodding encouragement and urging the boy on.’
      • ‘‘What I remember most was the thrill of the crowd urging me on - and being pretty exhausted,’ recalls Rees.’
      • ‘I've been keeping a watchful eye and ear on the progress of the solo yachtsmen and women as they battle their way through the round-the-world race, urging them on and sending them silent good wishes.’
      • ‘All three are concentrating hard on stirring their biscuit mixture while their helper urges them on.’
      • ‘Sean Gourley had the crowds urging him on as he leapt to long jump victory in an impressive 7. 01m.’
      • ‘There were man-made ones too of course and most of these were forest fires in California which took some time to control as there were strong winds urging them on.’
      • ‘Standing next to the hulking metal scrum machine, its curving shape like the shell of a giant red insect, he urges them on.’
      • ‘The game still looked in the balance and Rhodes continued to urge Kendal on with his constant ranting from the back.’
      • ‘Charles looked bemused but gave an encouraging smile while Emilia urged her on; Faith and Hope were smiling but Charity, Rebecca and Louisa were frowning.’
      • ‘If we don't keep drugs out of these events, they become freak shows, the athletes like gladiators - with us playing the role of decadent Romans, urging them on.’
      • ‘Men with short back and sides dressed in gleaming white singlets and shorts set off downriver while a little coxswain in a cap urges them on.’
      • ‘Rosaline Gallagher was there urging me on and I got great courage from that.’
      impel, force, drive, coerce, goad
      View synonyms


  • [often with infinitive] A strong desire or impulse.

    ‘he felt the urge to giggle’
    ‘sexual urges’
    • ‘She could feel his warm breath against her cheek and lips, and she felt a strong urge to pull him in and kiss him.’
    • ‘I had a stream of ideas seemingly out of nowhere, that I didn't recognise as my own, and felt the strong urge to write them down.’
    • ‘With a strong urge to serve the society more effectively, he entered the civil services.’
    • ‘The director recalls that this sparked off the strong urge to do something significant.’
    • ‘I glowered at him and felt an impulsive urge to hit him over his egotistical head with a pillow.’
    • ‘Zander, it appears, is not motivated by desire but by an urge to keep the story going.’
    • ‘I resisted the strong urge to test his brow for evidence of a high fever.’
    • ‘In fact, she had very strong urge to confide in a friend about her unfortunate situation regarding the duke.’
    • ‘If I visit shops or vendors that do not offer fixed prices, I always feel a strong urge to bargain.’
    • ‘She had the strong urge to throw a pinecone at him, but kept focused on her main target.’
    • ‘Larenia giggled after she finished saying this and I had the strong urge to giggle with her.’
    • ‘But the incredibly strong urge to make connections, to avoid being alone, is difficult to extinguish.’
    • ‘She had never understood why Samay felt such a strong urge to foster relationships other than the one he had with her.’
    • ‘I glowered, having a strong urge to turn away from him, but I knew that he intended well.’
    • ‘Jade herself fought an immediately strong urge to flee as fast as her legs would take her.’
    • ‘The more disturbing the situation, the stronger the urge to take refuge in familiar procedures.’
    • ‘Impulsiveness, and the urge to take action is your gift and your strength, leaving the hesitating majority in shame.’
    • ‘As a student of art and design I feel a very strong urge to keep up as best I can.’
    • ‘Allowing sexual urges to control me would not be freedom but chains.’
    • ‘I frequently have strong urges to go to the bathroom that soon pass.’
    desire, wish, need, impulse, compulsion, longing, yearning, hankering, craving, appetite, hunger, thirst, lust, fancy
    yen, itch
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century: from Latin urgere press, drive.