Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

umbrella

play
noun um·brel·la \ˌəm-ˈbre-lə, especially Southern ˈəm-ˌ\

Simple Definition of umbrella

  • : a device that is used for protection from the rain and sun

  • : a group or organization that includes many smaller groups

  • : something that includes several or many different things

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of umbrella

  1. 1 :  a collapsible shade for protection against weather consisting of fabric stretched over hinged ribs radiating from a central pole; especially :  a small one for carrying in the hand

  2. 2 :  the bell-shaped or saucer-shaped largely gelatinous structure that forms the chief part of the body of most jellyfishes

  3. 3 :  something which provides protection: as a :  defensive air cover (as over a battlefront) b :  a heavy barrage

  4. 4 :  something which covers or embraces a broad range of elements or factors <decided to expand … by building new colleges under a federation umbrella — Diane Ravitch>

Examples of umbrella in a sentence

  1. The store sells Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern foods under the umbrella of international cuisine.



Origin and Etymology of umbrella

Italian ombrella, modification of Latin umbella, diminutive of umbra


First Known Use: 1611


2

umbrella

verb um·brel·la

Definition of umbrella

umbrellaed

umbrellaing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to protect, cover, or provide with an umbrella



1834

First Known Use of umbrella

1834


UMBRELLA Defined for Kids

umbrella

play
noun um·brel·la \ˌəm-ˈbre-lə\

Definition of umbrella for Students

  1. :  a fabric covering stretched over a circular folding frame of rods attached to a pole and used as a protection against rain or sun



History for umbrella

We most often think of an umbrella as something that protects us from the rain. However, its shade can protect us from the hot sun, too. The English word umbrella came from Italian ombrella, which itself is taken from Latin umbella, literally, “little shade.” Umbella is derived from umbra, meaning “shade” or “shadow.”


Law Dictionary

umbrella

adjective um·brel·la

Legal Definition of umbrella

  1. :  being or relating to a supplemental insurance policy that extends the coverage of an underlying policy on the same risk <an umbrella policy> <umbrella liability insurance>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up umbrella? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to criticize in a loud and angry way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

lazy frenetic philistine melancholy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ