From Middle French urbain (“urban, belonging to a city” also “polite, courteous, elegant, urbane”), from Latin urbānus (“belonging to a city”), with a sense of “having the manners of townspeople” in Classical Latin, from urbs (“city”).
- (of a man) Courteous, polite, refined, and suave.
1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 1:
- The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!
- 1949: George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, p12
- 2017 September 27, David Browne, "Hugh Hefner, 'Playboy' Founder, Dead at 91," Rolling Stone
- And with his trademark smoking jackets and pipes – and the silk pajamas he would often wear to work – Hefner became the embodiment of a sexually adventurous yet urbane image and lifestyle, a seeming role model for generations of men.
- 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.
courteous, polite, refined, suave, and sophisticated
- The Concise Oxford English Dictionary [Eleventh Edition]
- inflected form of
- urbane in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- urbane in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers