The dissolution problem is the main obstacle for the value-added modification and depolymerization of industrial lignin. Here, a green urea aqueous solution for complete dissolution of various lignin is presented and the dissolution mechanism is analyzed by AFM, DLS and NMR. The results show that the molecular interaction of lignin decreases from 32.3 mN/m in pure water to 11.3 mN/m in urea aqueous solution. The immobility of 1H NMR spectra and the shift of 17O NMR spectra of urea in different lignin/urea solutions indicate that the oxygen of carbonyl in urea and the hydrogen of hydroxyl in lignin form new hydrogen bonds and break the original hydrogen bonds among lignin molecules. The shift of 1H NMR spectra of lignin and the decrease of interactions in model compound polystyrene indicate that urea also breaks the π-π interactions between aromatic rings of lignin. Lignin dissolved in urea aqueous has good antioxidant activity and it can scavenge at least 63% free radicals in 16 min.