[ 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.

Origin of 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for umber

British Dictionary definitions for umber


/ (ˈʌmbə) /


any of various natural brown earths containing ferric oxide together with lime and oxides of aluminium, manganese, and siliconSee 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 for umber

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