AskDefine | Define urbane

Dictionary Definition

urbane adj
1 showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience; "his polished manner"; "maintained an urbane tone in his letters" [syn: polished, refined, svelte]
2 characterized by tact and propriety
3 marked by wide-ranging knowledge and appreciation of many parts of the world arising from urban life and wide travel; "the sophisticated manners of a true cosmopolite"; "urbane and pliant...he was at ease even in the drawing rooms of Paris" [syn: sophisticated]

User Contributed Dictionary



Existing since the sixteenth century in the sense of “appropriate to a city”: from urbain or from urbanus (from urbs, “city”).


  • /ɜːˈbeɪn/
  • Rhymes: -eɪn


  1. In the context of "of a man": Courteous, polite, refined, and suave.
    • 1949: George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, p12
      He felt deeply drawn to him, and not solely because he was intrigued by the contrast between O’Brien’s urbane manner and his prize-fighter’s physique.

Related terms


Courteous, polite, refined, and suave


  • The Concise Oxford English Dictionary [Eleventh Edition]



  1. Feminine plural form of urbano

Extensive Definition

Urbane mentioned in the Bible:
  • Romans 16:9
    • Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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