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raw umber

See under umber (def 1).
Origin of raw umber
First recorded in 1890-95


[uhm-ber] /ˈʌm bər/
an earth consisting chiefly of a hydrated oxide of iron and some oxide of manganese, used in its natural state as a brown pigment (raw umber) or, after heating, as a reddish-brown pigment (burnt umber)
the color of such a pigment; dark dusky brown or dark reddish brown.
Ichthyology. the European grayling, Thymallus thymallus.
North England Dialect. shade; shadow.
of the color umber.
verb (used with object)
to color with or as if with umber.
1250-1300; Middle English umbre, umber shade, shadow < Old French umbre < Latin umbra; in sense “earth” < French terre d'ombre or Italian terra di ombra Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for raw umber
Historical Examples
  • But to this tint we add a small amount of raw umber with the view of imparting a greyness or atmospheric character.

    Principles of Decorative Design

    Christopher Dresser
  • raw umber is a good color, or raw umber modified with burnt sienna and black.

    The Painter in Oil Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst
  • But if you desire stone colour you can make it by putting a pinch of raw umber in the whitewash.

    Wings and the Child E. [Edith] Nesbit
  • I used to be puzzled by the name of 'raw umber,' being unable to imagine the effect of fried umber or stewed umber.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • raw umber is a natural earth, containing oxide of manganese; it is quite permanent.

  • These spots range from "auburn" and "raw umber" to "chestnut brown" and "blackish brown."

  • In graining ash in oil the colors necessary will be raw umber and raw sienna and a little Vandyke brown or black.

    Practical Graining

    William E. (William Edmund) Wall
  • In that case the bulbs may be toned down by using ground glass and painting them with a thin coat of raw umber water color paint.

British Dictionary definitions for raw umber


any of various natural brown earths containing ferric oxide together with lime and oxides of aluminium, manganese, and silicon See also burnt umber
any of the dark brown to greenish-brown colours produced by this pigment
short for umber moth
  1. shade or shadow
  2. any dark, dusky, or indefinite colour
of, relating to, or stained with umber
Word Origin
C16: from French (terre d')ombre or Italian (terra di) ombra shadow (earth), from Latin umbra shade
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for raw umber



brown earthy pigment, 1560s, from Middle French ombre (in terre d'ombre), or Italian ombra (in terra di ombra), both from either Latin umbra "shade, shadow" (see umbrage) or from Umbra, fem. of Umber "belonging to Umbria," region in central Italy from which the coloring matter first came. Burnt umber, specially prepared and redder in color, is attested from c.1650.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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