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

Many of the demonstrators carried umbrellas, which have become both a symbolic and practical tool of protesters — who use them to block tear gas or attacks from club-wielding police. NBC News, "Hong Kong protest suddenly turns chaotic," 21 Aug. 2019 The Baglinis watched the other day as a few gulls huddled under a beach umbrella, dug into an open beach bag while the owners were away, pulled out a bag of chips and enjoyed a feast on the sand. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "Flying Assassins Are Called In to Combat Aggressive Gulls," 15 Aug. 2019 The exhibition in Houston includes six sculptures ranging from 8 to 12 feet high, depicting everyday objects such as an umbrella, a wheelbarrow, a light bulb and a shoe. Danny Hermosillo, Houston Chronicle, "Colorful, 'larger-than-life' sculptures take shape at Discovery Green," 6 Aug. 2019 But fortunately for those who didn't camp out for a chance to purchase affordable shift dresses, patio umbrellas, and brightly colored beach towels, the Lilly for Target collaboration is heading back to stores. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Target Is Bringing Back Its Lilly Pulitzer Collaboration," 2 Aug. 2019 Ross wanted everything under one umbrella, that was his big innovation. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How the megadevelopment era shapes cities today," 30 July 2019 The acquisition will bring 2,200 Intel employees under Apple's umbrella, along with various intellectual properties, leases, and equipment. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple acquires Intel’s 5G smartphone modem business for $1 billion," 25 July 2019 There was a collection of cold, wet umbrellas near the door, but the smiles were warm. Amy Drew Thompson,, "“Sette" it off: Stellar service, serious portions in the Ivanhood | Review," 17 July 2019 Park rules will be enforced: lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets are welcome; tents, umbrellas, alcohol, glass bottles and grills are not. Lawrence Specker |,, "July 4 on the coast: Fireworks shows in Mobile, Baldwin," 3 July 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

27 Aug 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 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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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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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