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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.