Definition of urgency in US English:



  • 1Importance requiring swift action.

    ‘the discovery of the ozone hole gave urgency to the issue of CFCs’
    • ‘Despite the urgency of the situation, once again crucial years passed before more appropriate drug policies were implemented.’
    • ‘And as these numbers are revealed, the urgency is increased, the size grows, and it will take a little more time.’
    • ‘Their grim task is given urgency by the knowledge that some 250 firefighters and police officers are entombed in the wreckage.’
    • ‘The urgency of chemical treatments in Nova Scotia emerged only in the subsequent budworm cycle, with the massive infestation of the early 1970s.’
    • ‘Reform of the social model is therefore a matter of urgency.’
    • ‘The event came out with all the hilarity associated with such events, since it is normal for the clues to be misinterpreted in a situation of urgency.’
    • ‘Today, of course, its mission has an urgency not anticipated a decade ago.’
    • ‘A sense of urgency underlies the need to take action in the open access to law.’
    • ‘If there are relative statistics which will heighten the readers awareness of the urgency of the problem or situation, utilize them to establish the centrality of your argument.’
    • ‘Now, moreover, with the nation in an economic downturn, is not the time to assert the urgency of passing referendum legislation.’
    • ‘As well as communicating the urgency of the moment, this form of expression had the effect of attributing a sense of agency to the subject of the photograph.’
    • ‘Yet, the dispersion of education only underscores with renewed urgency the significance of formal spheres of learning.’
    • ‘We propose that a dispute meeting be held as a matter of urgency but not later than seven days from today, 2 June 2004.’
    • ‘That subject isn't new, but it has resurfaced with renewed urgency.’
    • ‘No doubt in some cases, at least, delays have occurred because the authority investigation was seen as having less immediate urgency than other work on which an officer was engaged.’
    • ‘"I don't get yelled at that often," Allison recalls, "so there must have been some urgency."’
    • ‘It will now address as a matter of urgency the form that this independent body should take.’
    • ‘Because larger infants have greater nutrient reserves, the urgency to start nutrition support is much less than in smaller infants.’
    • ‘"This raises further questions and it will be something I shall raise as a matter of urgency," he said.’
    • ‘But despite the urgency of Africa's situation it is resoundingly clear that poverty, even extreme poverty, just doesn't sell papers.’
    importance, top priority, imperativeness, weight, weightiness, gravity, necessity, exigency, seriousness, momentousness, cruciality, extremity, hurry, haste
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  • 2An earnest and persistent quality; insistence.

    ‘Emilia heard the urgency in his voice’
    • ‘That's a question investors, executives, and politicians are asking with increasing urgency.’
    • ‘But there is a youthful urgency and energy to the writing.’
    • ‘By closing down with such vigour, Livingston forced the game into an untidy state, the action became hurried and so every pass and challenge seemed to quiver with anxious urgency.’
    • ‘Even caught by the song's urgency, she cries out in pain when he moves it too fast.’
    • ‘"We have to find a way to bring our people closer together, to show more patience and understanding," Ramon told me with urgency in his voice.’
    • ‘And if they lost a little urgency, throttled back just a shade in the second-half, then it was hardly surprising considering their supremacy and the inevitability of the title outcome.’
    • ‘The F sharp minor Capriccio seethes with tension and urgency in its outer sections and the ensuing B minor Capriccio is delightfully playful and chipper.’
    • ‘I was sat writing my diary; he wandered over, smelling faintly of solvents, and told me, with some urgency, that I should, "Just keep screaming!"’
    • ‘At that very moment, Richard appeared in the open doorway, a look of urgency in his eyes.’
    • ‘They play with an urgency that belies their extensive and rather intensive gigging schedule.’
    • ‘The rhythmic urgency of the second movement Allegro was striking.’
    • ‘It's early, but you have to start playing with urgency sometime.’
    insistence, persistence, determination, resolution, tenacity, obstinacy, doggedness
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