Definition of umbra
plural umbras or umbrae play \-(ˌ)brē, -ˌbrī\
1 : a shaded area
2 a : a conical shadow excluding all light from a given source; specifically : the conical part of the shadow of a celestial body excluding all light from the primary source b : the central dark part of a sunspot
Examples of umbra in a sentence
<strange noises were coming from the wooded umbra beyond our campfire>
<during a solar eclipse observers located within the umbra experience a complete blocking of the sun by the moon>
Did You Know?
The Latin word umbra ("shade, shadow") has given English a range of words in addition to "umbra" itself. An umbrella can provide us with shade from the sun. So can an umbrageous tree. (In this case, umbrageous means "affording shade.") The connection to shade or shadow in other "umbra" words is less obvious. When we say someone takes "umbrage," we mean they take offense, but in times past people used the word as a synonym of "shade" or "shadow." The two senses of "umbrage" influenced "umbrageous," which can mean "inclined to take offense easily" as well as "affording shade."
Origin of umbra
First Known Use: 1638
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up umbra? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).