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Word of the Day : July 19, 2013

umbrage

play
noun UM-brij

Definition

1 : shade, shadow

2 a : vague suggestion : hint

b : a reason for doubt

3 : a feeling of resentment at some often fancied slight or insult

Examples

I take umbrage at her suggestion that I just couldn't be bothered to call.

"If someone disagrees with him, he doesn't take umbrage. He treats all people alike, a colleague says. He's a listener." - From an article by Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard, December 31, 2012 - January 7, 2013



Did You Know?

"Deare amber lockes gave umbrage to her face." This line from a poem by William Drummond, published in 1616, uses "umbrage" in its original sense of "shade or shadow," a meaning shared by its Latin source, "umbra." ("Umbella," the diminutive form of "umbra," means "a sunshade or parasol" in Latin and is an ancestor of our word "umbrella.") Beginning in the early 17th century, "umbrage" was also used to mean "a shadowy suggestion or semblance of something," as when Shakespeare, in Hamlet, wrote, "His semblable is his mirror, and who else would trace him, his umbrage, nothing more." In the same century, "umbrage" took on the pejorative senses "a shadow of suspicion cast on someone" and "displeasure, offense"; the latter is commonly used today in the phrases "give umbrage" or "take umbrage."

Test Your Memory

What former Word of the Day begins with "h" and can refer to the dress characteristic of an occupation or occasion? The answer is …


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