Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
1590s, "phantom, ghost," a figurative use from Latin umbra "shade, shadow" (see umbrage). Astronomical sense of "shadow cast by the earth or moon during an eclipse" is first recorded 1670s. Meaning "an uninvited guest accompanying an invited one" is from 1690s.
Plural umbras or umbrae (ŭm'brē)
that part of a shadow in which all light from a given source is excluded. The shadow from a point source of illumination is essentially all umbra, but that from a source of some size (as from the Sun) consists of a small umbra and a much larger partial shadow called the penumbra. Thus, in an eclipse of the Sun, the regions within the umbra experience a total eclipse and those within the penumbra, partial eclipse. The term is also used for the dark central portion of a sunspot.