[ uhm-brel-uh ]
/ ʌmˈbrɛl ə /



shaped like or intended to perform the function of an umbrella.
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
Related formsum·brel·la·less, adjectiveum·brel·la·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for umbrella

British Dictionary definitions for umbrella


/ (ʌmˈbrɛlə) /


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
the flattened cone-shaped contractile body of a jellyfish or other medusa
a protective shield or screen, esp of aircraft or gunfire
anything that has the effect of a protective screen or cover
  1. any system or agency that provides centralized organization or general cover for a group of related companies, organizations, etcdance umbrella
  2. (as modifier)an umbrella fund; umbrella group
Derived Formsumbrella-like, adjective

Word Origin for umbrella

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

Word Origin and History for umbrella



c.1600, first attested in Donne's letters, from Italian ombrello, from Late Latin umbrella, altered (by influence of umbra) from Latin umbella "sunshade, parasol," diminutive of umbra "shade, shadow" (see umbrage).

A sunshade in the Mediterranean, a shelter from the rain in England; in late 17c. usage, usually as an Oriental or African symbol of dignity. Said to have been used by women in England from c.1700; the first rain-umbrella carried by a man there was traditionally c.1760, by Jonas Hathaway, noted traveler and philanthropist. Figurative sense of "authority, unifying quality" (usually in a phrase such as under the umbrella of) is recorded from 1948.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper