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 : bell entry 1 sense 3b
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

This small town was (and still is) known for manufacturing goods out of mulberry bark and bamboo, like paper umbrellas and paper lanterns. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About the Noguchi Lamp," 1 Feb. 2019 But other world leaders managed to get there, with cars and umbrellas and a clear sense of duty. Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times, "A letter from Paris to my Seattle self," 7 Dec. 2018 Those attending are welcome to bring blankets, chairs, umbrellas and picnics, but they are reminded that no alcohol, smoking or pets will be allowed on school property. Ramona Sentinel, "Independence Day to start with parade, end with fireworks," 27 June 2018 The Paradise Beach Bar seats eight and directly beside it is a private beach with views of Saint Kitts and Mount Nevis—as well as hammocks, umbrellas, and lounge chairs that seemed to be waiting every day just for us. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Vacation Like a Royal in Nevis," 25 June 2018 But their fun house scale — cups, umbrella, and all are each about the size of an ottoman — and slightly abstracted color are enough to put them into a strange virtual territory somewhere between trompe l’oeil and the uncanny valley. Will Heinrich, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 13 June 2018 Customers can add outdoor kitchens, gazebos, umbrellas and even volleyball nets. Sarah K Wood, ajc, "Want a beach in your backyard? This man can make it happen," 12 June 2018 And because that wasn’t enough, 2018 gave one final blow to Chrissy, as Leslie accidentally poked the model in the eye with her umbrella. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Why Everyone Thinks Carson Daly's New Year's Eve Special Was a 'Complete Disaster'," 2 Jan. 2019 For one, thanks to the extremely wet weather, Teigen got soaked in the rain, while her co-hosts all had their umbrellas out. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chrissy Teigen Saw in 2019 by Bashing into an Umbrella on Live TV," 1 Jan. 2019

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

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for umbrella

The first known use of umbrella was in 1611

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More Definitions for umbrella



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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More from Merriam-Webster on umbrella

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with umbrella

Spanish Central: Translation of umbrella

Nglish: Translation of umbrella for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of umbrella for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about umbrella

Comments on umbrella

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


excited commotion or publicity

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