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

Budzisz, a Civil Air Patrol and South Milwaukee Leo Club volunteer, was surprised at the variety of occupations and agencies under the umbrella of law enforcement. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Thirty Wisconsin students get crime-solving experience through FBI program," 9 July 2019 In 2016, community and economic development groups, healthcare providers and educators banded together under the umbrella of Oregonians for Rural Health., "Potential Southern Oregon health careers college receives $10 million boost from state," 3 July 2019 The militias fall under the umbrella of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, a collection of mostly Shiite militias that fought the Islamic State group and were incorporated into the Iraqi armed forces in 2016. Washington Post, "Iraq moves to limit influence of Iran-backed militias," 2 July 2019 Warren carefully outlined various plans that all fell under the umbrella of paying attention to the little person, ending the trend of breaks to large corporations, and doing real research on national problems like gun violence. Melanie Eversley, Fortune, "Elizabeth Warren Holds Her Own as Lesser-Knowns Break Out in First Debate," 27 June 2019 Michael points out there are a bunch of subcategories under the umbrella of Haitian music, a mosaic of different genres that relate to one another. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Michael Brun on His Album "Lokal," the Beauty of Haitian Music, and Building Bridges," 26 June 2019 Most of the school’s Olympic sports (12) already fall under the umbrella of the West Coast Conference, including men’s and women’s basketball. Matt Murschel,, "What’s next for AAC after UConn? BYU, Boise State or Army would be ideal," 24 June 2019 Among federal agencies that still have access to CPD data are other agencies under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, such as the U.S. Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations. Madeline Buckley,, "CPD does not share data with ICE, but other agencies still have access: ‘The reality is that the FBI frequently shares information with ICE’," 21 June 2019 Horticultural therapy falls under the umbrella of the Therapeutic Recreation Program. Jodi Torpey, The Denver Post, "The healing gardens at Craig Hospital offer respite and therapy," 17 June 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

16 Jul 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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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