um·brel·la | \ ˌəm-ˈbre-lə , especially Southern ˈəm-ˌbre- \

Definition of umbrella 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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 : 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

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

4 : something which provides protection: such as

a : defensive air cover (as over a battlefront)

b : a heavy barrage


umbrellaed; umbrellaing

Definition of umbrella (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to protect, cover, or provide with an umbrella

Examples of umbrella in a Sentence


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The number of protestors fluctuates throughout the day, with some staying overnight under shelters made from tarps, umbrellas, and other DIY materials., "ICE protestors outside City Hall battle heat, loss of electricity," 9 July 2018 Unfurling over the city like an enormous black umbrella, all moving spars and flanges, was the ship. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A transgender girl rises up against alien invaders in Rich Larson’s novel Annex," 8 July 2018 Visitors are asked not to bring fireworks, alcohol, glass containers, tents, large umbrellas and four-legged friends except for assistance and seeing dogs. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Katy cancels July 4th program; VFW, LaCenterra still plan events," 3 July 2018 Equipped with fans, bucket hats, water, umbrellas and signs, the attendees protested the separation of migrant children from their families and called for their reunification. Lauren Fox, kansascity, "About 2,000 gather in KC to be 'a voice for the children' in immigration rally," 30 June 2018 Take in materials like outdoor cushions and close patio umbrellas and awnings. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "Are Bottle Rockets a Serious Fire Danger?," 29 June 2018 Police reviewed the Pirana Grille’s parking-lot surveillance video which reportedly showed Contino taking the umbrella from the Ford Escape and putting it in the bed of his Nissan Frontier, then clibing back into the Ford through the hatch. Stephen Hudak,, "Volusia Beach Patrol Officer arrested after theft of beach umbrella, $170 from vehicle," 6 July 2018 Have umbrellas at the ready for sun-conscious pool partyers and add extra special touches, like a selection of sunscreens and a circular tray for guests to store their sunglasses whilst taking a dip. ELLE Decor, "Now *This* Is How You Throw a Grown-Up Pool Party," 6 July 2018 Everybody lined up in perfect T-shirts, handing out umbrellas. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Recode Editor in Chief Dan Frommer answers Apple WWDC questions on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'umbrella.' 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 umbrella


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for umbrella


Italian ombrella, modification of Latin umbella, diminutive of umbra

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Statistics for umbrella

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for umbrella

The first known use of umbrella was in 1611

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English Language Learners 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


um·brel·la | \ ˌəm-ˈbre-lə \

Kids Definition of umbrella

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



Legal Definition of umbrella 

: 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

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