um·​brel·​la | \ ˌəm-ˈbre-lə How to pronounce umbrella (audio) , 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

Delivering a series of dramatic red carpet poses underneath a parade of black umbrellas, Gaga's dramatic train required its own entourage of people to guide it down the red carpet. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga Just Had 4 Outfit Changes on the Met Gala Red Carpet and We’re Deceased," 6 May 2019 In our video: Rug, Well Woven; beach umbrella, Bed, Bath & Beyond; side table, World Market; beach chairs, Target; wall mural, Society6. Maddie Hiatt, House Beautiful, "The 13 Coolest Pool Floats Of 2019," 6 Apr. 2019 Women ululated as Francis and the king walked along the promenade of the Hassan Tower complex under umbrellas. Amira El Masaiti, The Seattle Times, "Pope in Morocco: Walls, fear-mongering won’t stop migration," 31 Mar. 2019 Next-generation 5G technology is slowly rolling out, combining both longer-range sub-6GHz wireless and short-range, high-speed millimeter-wave technology under one umbrella. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "5G could be the foundation of next-gen 'cloud VR'," 27 Mar. 2019 Before, William, Kate, Meghan, and Harry all operated under the same umbrella of Kensington Palace, sharing staff, social media accounts, and resources. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Now Have Their Own Instagram Account," 2 Apr. 2019 Mickelson and Casey were waiting to tee off when clouds moved in quickly moved in, and rain turned into hail that pounded umbrellas, many of them held sideways to account for the wind. Doug Ferguson, The Seattle Times, "Mickelson beats everyone but the dark at Pebble," 11 Feb. 2019 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex went without umbrellas, probably so the crowds could better see them, and even as the temperature hovered around freezing, Markle opted to hold her gloves instead of wearing them. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Reason Meghan Markle Holds Her Gloves But Doesn't Actually Wear Them," 2 Feb. 2019 The plant is the giant hogweed: up to 15 feet tall, with white flowers that bloom to the size of an umbrella, and sap that can cause third-degree burns if not treated immediately. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Giant, Scary Invasive Flower Can Cause Third-Degree Burns," 7 July 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

21 May 2019

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 How to pronounce umbrella (audio) \

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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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