um·​brage | \ ˈəm-brij How to pronounce umbrage (audio) \

Definition of umbrage

1 : a feeling of pique or resentment at some often fancied slight or insult took umbrage at the speaker's remarks
2 : shady branches : foliage
4a : an indistinct indication : vague suggestion : hint
b : a reason for doubt : suspicion

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Choose the Right Synonym for umbrage

offense, resentment, umbrage, pique, dudgeon, huff mean an emotional response to or an emotional state resulting from a slight or indignity. offense implies hurt displeasure. takes deep offense at racial slurs resentment suggests lasting indignation or ill will. harbored a lifelong resentment of his brother umbrage may suggest hurt pride, resentment, or suspicion of another's motives. took umbrage at the offer of advice pique applies to a transient feeling of wounded vanity. in a pique I foolishly declined the invitation dudgeon suggests an angry fit of indignation. stormed out of the meeting in high dudgeon huff implies a peevish short-lived spell of anger usually at a petty cause. in a huff he slammed the door

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."

Examples of umbrage in a Sentence

took umbrage at the slightest suggestion of disrespect
Recent Examples on the Web Many Maryland Democrats may take umbrage with that description, arguing that the Republican governor has resisted progressive change. Fox News, "Maryland’s Hogan launches book tour amid 2024 speculation," 9 July 2020 From then on, all the way to the G.O.P. nomination, Trump met outrage with umbrage and trailed for only an instant. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, "Don’t Worry About the Democratic Presidential Polls," 29 July 2019 Once again, Indiana took umbrage with Pippen's physical defense on Jackson. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "How Pacers pushed Michael Jordan, Bulls to the brink in 1998: 'They saw the fear in Chicago's eyes.'," 15 May 2020 Cooks sometimes being a temperamental lot, Miss Manners cannot say what will give offense, only when etiquette will support their umbrage. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: My mother is dying. Do I have to cancel this baby shower?," 13 Nov. 2019 But Captain America himself, Chris Evans, took umbrage with those claims, citing his own push-up contest victory. Shannon Carlin,, "This Avengers Reunion Got The Internet All Up In Its Feelings," 3 May 2020 But other Palestinians in Gaza, who took umbrage at the idea of befriending Israelis, were also listening in. David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, "Zoom Call With Israelis Lands a Gaza Peace Activist in Jail," 10 Apr. 2020 Sanders took umbrage, distancing himself from authoritarian, Soviet-style communism and emphasizing a vision closer to that of Denmark, a democracy where high taxes support a broad government services and a generous social safety net. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "‘Socialist’ label hasn’t slowed Bernie Sanders, but his march gives some Texas Democrats heartburn," 23 Feb. 2020 The Enquirer didn’t believe him, and Twain took umbrage to being called a liar. Jeff Suess,, "Mark Twain vs. The Enquirer: 'I think the Cincinnati Enquirer must be edited by children'," 29 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'umbrage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of umbrage

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for umbrage

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin umbraticum, neuter of umbraticus of shade, from umbratus, past participle of umbrare to shade, from umbra shade, shadow; akin to Lithuanian unksmė shadow

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The first known use of umbrage was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

13 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Umbrage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for umbrage


How to pronounce umbrage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of umbrage

formal : a feeling of being offended by what someone has said or done

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Spanish Central: Translation of umbrage

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