Urban vs urbane

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Urban means pertaining to living in a city, characteristic of a city, or a type of music enjoyed by cultures that spring from city living. The word urban appears in the English language in the 1600s but is rarely used before the mid-1800s. Urban is derived from the Latin word urbanus , meaning in reference to city life, in reference to life in Rome.

Urbane means having a suave manner, behaving as a sophisticate. In the mid-1500s, urbane meant pertaining to cities as well as having a certain polish and sophisticated manner. Urbane was also created from the Latin word urbanus, which in addition to the meaning of city life, also means having the refined manners of city people. Somewhere in the 1800s, the spellings and meanings of urban and urbane became differentiated


In all, some 23 schools, primarily from Jefferson County Public Schools, will be getting new meteorological stations, and the plan is to work with the teachers and students to collect baseline data on Louisville’s urban heat island, said Brent Fryrear, director of the Partnership for a Green City. (The Courier-Journal)

The commissioner of the Corporation of the City of Panaji and chief officers of the municipal councils will issue certificates to help identify urban poor for the implementation of the National Urban Livelihood Mission. (The Times of India)

Australia has one of the world’s most urban and fastest-growing populations, but are we doing enough to increase the amount of shared green spaces? (The Age)

Urbane meets rustic in Rocky Mount, Va. (The Dallas Morning News)

His was an urbane, ironic, sophisticated flippancy of the Betjeman variety, though, as an unwilling television performer, he failed to achieve Betjeman’s status as national treasure. (The Spectator)

I was lucky enough to see Calvert on the tour supporting this album, dressed head to foot in white and cutting a distinctly more urbane figure than the manic performer of the 70s. (The Guardian)