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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
umber (ˈʌmbə)
1.  See also burnt umber any of various natural brown earths containing ferric oxide together with lime and oxides of aluminium, manganese, and silicon
2.  any of the dark brown to greenish-brown colours produced by this pigment
3.  short for umber moth
4.  obsolete
 a.  shade or shadow
 b.  any dark, dusky, or indefinite colour
5.  of, relating to, or stained with umber
[C16: from French (terre d')ombre or Italian (terra di) ombra shadow (earth), from Latin umbra shade]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

brown earthy pigment, 1568, from M.Fr. ombre (in terre d'ombre), or It. ombra (in terra di ombra), both from either L. 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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Example sentences
It's color was metallic gold sunward and burnt umber on the shielded side.
The coastal plain lacks the stark grace of the desert or the umber panache of the pampas.
The steps are shiny with use and stained a deep umber, as though an oil spill had slicked them down.
Its fur is umber, with blond highlights across the shoulder hump and the forelegs beautifully catching the afternoon light.
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