Definition of umbra
umbraeplay \ˈəm-(ˌ)brē, -ˌbrī\
1 : a shaded area
2a : 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 sourceb : the central dark part of a sunspot
umbralplay \ˈəm-brəl\ adjective
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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
Recent Examples of umbra from the Web
Chart showing how the moon fits into Earth’s shadow (the umbra is the darkest portion).
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'umbra'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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 and Etymology of umbra
First Known Use: 1638
Seen and Heard
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