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.
the saucer- or bowl-shaped, gelatinous body of a jellyfish; bell.
something that covers or protects from above, as military aircraft safeguarding surface forces: an air umbrella.
any general kind of protection: a price umbrella.
something, as an organization or policy, that covers or encompasses a number of groups or elements.
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.

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

umbrellaless, adjective
umbrellalike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
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
3.  a protective shield or screen, esp of aircraft or gunfire
4.  anything that has the effect of a protective screen or cover
5.  a.  any system or agency that provides centralized organization or general cover for a group of related companies, organizations, etc: dance umbrella
 b.  (as modifier): an umbrella fund; umbrella group
[C17: from Italian ombrella, diminutive of ombra shade; see umbra]

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

1609, first attested in Donne's letters, from It. ombrello, from L.L. umbrella, altered (by influence of umbra) from L. umbella "sunshade, parasol," dim. 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. Fig. 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
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a portable, hand-held device that is used for protection against rain and sunlight. The modern umbrella consists of a circular fabric or plastic screen stretched over hinged ribs that radiate from a central pole. The hinged ribs permit the screen to be opened and closed so that the umbrella can be carried with ease when not in use.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Subject then pointed an umbrella at the teacher and pushed a button extending
  the umbrella.
All you need to do is carry a clear umbrella with streamers dangling from it
  and perhaps a red shirt and white sweat pants.
Dress up a few lanterns with ribbon, add some sunny fabric, and your plain
  canvas umbrella is ready to party.
The umbrella illustrates the world being turned inside out by the wind.
Images for umbrella
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