Word of the Week: Urbane

CliffsNotes May 7, 2016

 

Word: urbane (adj)

Definition: Polite, refined, and often elegant in manner.

Synonyms: cultured, sophisticated, suave

If you've ever met someone who is polite and courteous in a smooth, polished way, you can say he is refined or urbane. In Henry James's Daisy MillerDaisy is a pretty, 19th-century American girl who shocks the more formalized European society by her spontaneous acts. Here, Daisy takes a walk with two men:

“[Daisy] strolled along with one of them on each side of her; Mr. Giovanelli, who spoke English very cleverly . . . addressed her a great deal of very polite nonsense; he was extremely urbane . . .”

 
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