[ uhm-brel-uh ]
See synonyms for umbrella on
  1. a light, small, portable, usually circular cover for protection from rain or sun, consisting of a fabric held on a collapsible frame of thin ribs radiating from the top of a carrying stick or handle.

  2. the saucer- or bowl-shaped, gelatinous body of a jellyfish; bell.

  1. something that covers or protects from above, as military aircraft safeguarding surface forces: an air umbrella.

  2. any general kind of protection: a price umbrella.

  3. something, as an organization or policy, that covers or encompasses a number of groups or elements.

  1. shaped like or intended to perform the function of an umbrella.

  2. having the quality or function of covering or applying simultaneously to a number of similar items, elements, or groups: an umbrella organization; umbrella coverage in an insurance policy.

Origin of umbrella

1600–10; 1965–70 for def. 7; <Italian ombrella, earlier variant of ombrello<Late Latin umbrella, alteration (with influence of Latin umbra shade) of Latin umbella sunshade. See umbel

Other words from umbrella

  • um·brel·la·less, adjective
  • um·brel·la·like, adjective

Words Nearby umbrella Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use umbrella in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for umbrella


/ (ʌmˈbrɛlə) /

  1. a portable device used for protection against rain, snow, etc, and consisting of a light canopy supported on a collapsible metal frame mounted on a central rod

  2. the flattened cone-shaped contractile body of a jellyfish or other medusa

  1. a protective shield or screen, esp of aircraft or gunfire

  2. anything that has the effect of a protective screen or cover

    • any system or agency that provides centralized organization or general cover for a group of related companies, organizations, etc: dance umbrella

    • (as modifier): an umbrella fund; umbrella group

Origin of umbrella

C17: from Italian ombrella, diminutive of ombra shade; see umbra

Derived forms of umbrella

  • umbrella-like, adjective

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