um·brage | \ˈəm-brij \

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

3 : shade, shadow

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

Some cryptocurrency zealots take great umbrage with this bubble talk. Mark Zandi,, "Bitcoin is outpacing stocks but it's still a big bubble, Moodys' Mark Zandi warns," 22 Mar. 2018 These days, Johnny Depp lives under the umbrage of Amber Heard's allegations of abuse. Rebecca Farley,, "Johnny Depp Changed His Amber Heard Tattoo From "Slim" To "Scum"," 21 June 2018 The Trump administration took umbrage at an ally publicly criticizing U.S. policy just before a historic meeting with Kim Jong-Un. Hallie Detrick, Fortune, "President Trump Is Still Very Angry With Canada's PM Justin Trudeau," 12 June 2018 So far, Trump’s advisers have adopted a posture of umbrage and indignation. Washington Post, "The Health 202: This year's top 10 new drugs," 9 Jan. 2018 German fans took umbrage with both Gundogan and Mesut Ozil back in May after the pair posed for photos with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan., "Angry German Fans Wreck Ilkay Gundogan's Car Following Photograph With President of Turkey," 16 June 2018 On his Twitter account, Mr. Trump took umbrage with complaints Thursday from Mr. Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron about U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum products made by its closest western allies. Paul Vieira, WSJ, "Trump, Trudeau Claim Progress on Nafta," 8 June 2018 Tired of fake accounts and pornography spread via Facebook, Papua New Guinea has become the latest country to take umbrage with the social media giant. Laignee Barron, Time, "Papua New Guinea Is Planning to Shutdown Access to Facebook for One Month, Report Says," 30 May 2018 Among the folks who take umbrage with that notion is Dave Olsen, a rockweed harvester who penned a fierce rebuttal to the center’s letter. Ben Goldfarb, Smithsonian, "How Seaweed Connects Us All," 31 May 2018

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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Statistics for umbrage

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for umbrage

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

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More Definitions for umbrage



English Language Learners Definition of umbrage

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on umbrage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for umbrage

Spanish Central: Translation of umbrage

Nglish: Translation of umbrage for Spanish Speakers

Comments on umbrage

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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