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

Noun The store sells Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern foods under the umbrella of international cuisine.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This drop allows the safeties to widen and create an umbrella look for the offense. Lance Reisland, cleveland, 24 Sep. 2022 While acts under Johnny’s umbrella have yet to come around to subscription streaming, more have turned to YouTube, with young acts such as SixTONES and Snow Man showing greater global ambitions. Patrick St. Michel, Billboard, 22 Sep. 2022 The most important thing for many people identifying under the umbrella term bisexual or bi+ is that the label feels right for them. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 22 Sep. 2022 As the Incarnate Word offense stepped on the field last week, coach G.J. Kinne scanned the Prairie View A&M defense and saw an umbrella alignment, with corners and safeties backed deep into the secondary. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, 22 Sep. 2022 In the future, Poletti said that there might be 50 races or more under the UTMB umbrella. Andy Cochrane, Outside Online, 21 Sep. 2022 But within the 4K umbrella, there is plenty of variety. Harry Rabinowitz, Popular Mechanics, 20 Sep. 2022 The team from the former Savitsky Satin Bacon & Bucci is about 90 people, and another approximately 45 employees from Tanner Mainstain Glynn & Johnson, which is also under the NFP umbrella, will become part of Ground Control in January. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Sep. 2022 The weather made for an intimate gallery of umbrella-holding diehards willing to brave the elements. Janie Mccauley, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About umbrella

Time Traveler for umbrella

Time Traveler

The first known use of umbrella was in 1611

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near umbrella



umbrella ant

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for umbrella

Last Updated

28 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Umbrella.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for umbrella


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!