Definition of “urge” - English Dictionary

“urge” in British English

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urgenoun [ C ]

uk /ɜːdʒ/ us /ɝːdʒ/

C2 a strong wish, especially one that is difficult or impossible to control:

The two of them seem unable to control their sexual urges.
[ + to infinitive ] The urge to steal is very strong in some of these young men.

More examples

  • She felt an overwhelming urge to tell someone about what had happened.
  • I can never resist the urge to laugh.
  • a primal urge to connect with nature
  • I had a sudden urge to slap him in the face.
  • She had to fight the overwhelming urge to kiss him.

urgeverb [ I or T ]

uk /ɜːdʒ/ us /ɝːdʒ/

C1 to strongly advise or try to persuade someone to do a particular thing:

[ + to infinitive ] Lawyers will urge the parents to take further legal action.
[ + that ] Investigators urged that safety procedures at the site should be improved.
Police urged continued vigilance in the fight against crime.
The dogs are urged into fighting more fiercely by loud shouts from the crowd.
We will continue to urge for leniency to be shown to these prisoners.

More examples

  • Newspaper editors are being urged not to intrude into the grief of the families of missing servicemen.
  • The president urged other countries to lift the trade restrictions.
  • The World Bank is being urged to write off debts from developing countries.
  • People were urged to boycott the country's products.
  • He again urged approval of a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion.
urging
noun [ C or U ] uk /ˈɜː.dʒɪŋ/ us /ˈɝː.dʒɪŋ/

With their dad's urging, the girls started playing tennis at a young age.
It was only because of Michele's urgings that he sold the house.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “urge” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“urge” in American English

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urgeverb [ T ]

us /ɜrdʒ/

urge verb [ T ] (ADVISE)

to encourage someone strongly to do something or to ask that something be done:

Party leaders urged her to run for Congress.

Phrasal verb(s)

urgenoun [ C ]

us /ɜrdʒ/

urge noun [ C ] (DESIRE)

a strong desire or need:

a human/natural urge
Sometimes I get an urge to go swimming at lunchtime.

(Definition of “urge” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)