Definition of urn in English:

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Pronunciation: /əːn/


Image of urn
1A tall, rounded vase with a stem and base, especially one used for storing the ashes of a cremated person.
Example sentences
  • Richly glazed and often spectacularly potted, the sources for these works include Anglo-Saxon cremation urns, Peruvian vases and, on at least one occasion, a Fijian carving.
  • One of them is yellowed and it has my father in his youth standing beside his parents, who are dead now and stored in urns just as yellow as the picture.
  • But the number of wooden urns stored in a tiny room continued to pile up.
1.1An ornamental sculpture shaped like an urn: a weathered stone urn
More example sentences
  • Massive tombs with painted and sculpted decoration, ash urns, and sarcophagi became a form of social competition.
  • Finlay's contribution is to be a series of sculptures of cherry-filled urns (the prototype was on display) adorning a gridded garden by Pia Maria Simig.
  • Nearby the Urn Tomb - so-called because a sculpted urn surmounts it - was later converted to a Byzantine church and shows Christian decoration.
2A large metal container with a tap, in which tea or coffee is made and kept hot, or water for making such drinks is boiled: a tea urn
More example sentences
  • Once the power was restored, the members, led by the emergency services manager, boiled up urns of water for teas and coffees and cooked bacon baps by the dozen.
  • Most Mondays for the past 12 years he has rushed home after work to put the kettle on and fill up flasks with tea and coffee and carry an urn of home-made soup out to his van for the hungry people looking forward to seeing him.
  • Tea, the national beverage, is made in metal urns called samovars.


[with object] archaic
Place in an urn.



noun (plural urnfuls)


Late Middle English: from Latin urna; related to urceus 'pitcher'.

Words that rhyme with urn

adjourn, astern, Berne, burn, churn, concern, discern, earn, fern, fohn, kern, learn, Lucerne, quern, Sauternes, spurn, stern, Sterne, tern, terne, Traherne, turn, Verne, yearn

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Line breaks: urn

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