October 08, 2011
urbane (adjective)
\er-BAYN\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: very polite and smooth in manner
How do you use it?
My cousin from London is smart and urbane, and her intelligence and sophisticated, easy demeanor make her very popular.
Are you a word wiz?

"Urbane" has a couple of English cousins. Which of the answers below do you think lists them?

You've got a sophisticated vocabulary if you chose D! "Urbane," "urban," and "suburb" all come from the Latin word "urb," meaning "city." And all three words have to do with cities. "Urban" is used to describe something that is in or relates to cities. "Suburb" refers to those surrounding towns that are "under" (or considered part of) a city. What about "urbane"? When "urbane" came into English around the year 1600, it referred to the polished manners of people who lived in cities. Over time, "urbane" moved away from the city now even folks who live in the country can be described as "urbane."
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