The word "urgent" is an adjective that describes something that is very important. It’s often used in situations that need immediate attention:

  • I received an email marked "urgent" from my supervisor, so I opened it right away.
  • The little boy has an urgent need to use the bathroom. (Notice that the word "need" is a noun in this sentence.)
  • Is this really urgent? Can we wait to do this later?
  • The CEO cancelled a meeting because he had an urgent personal matter to attend to.
  • The group sent out an urgent message requesting some help.
  • People in Puerto Rico have an urgent need for food and water following a devastating hurricane.

The verb form of this word is "urge." We use "urge" when making a strong recommendation:

  • Marta urged her son not to drop out of college.
  • I urge you to consider adding more insulation to your attic. You’ll save a lot of money on heating bills.
  • The government is urging everyone who lives next to the river to move to higher ground.

urgent medical need  A hospital can take care of a person’s urgent medical needs.

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This page was first published on February 1, 2012.

It was updated on September 28, 2012.