Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A device for protection from the weather consisting of a collapsible, usually circular canopy mounted on a central rod.
  • n. Something that covers or protects.
  • n. Air cover, especially during a military operation.
  • n. Something that encompasses or covers many different elements or groups.
  • n. Zoology The gelatinous, rounded mass that is the major part of the body of most jellyfish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Cloth-covered frame used for protection against rain or sun.
  • n. Generally, anything that provides protection.
  • n. Something that covers a wide range of concepts, purposes, groups and etc.
  • n. The main body of a jellyfish, excluding the tentacles.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A shade, screen, or guard, carried in the hand for sheltering the person from the rays of the sun, or from rain or snow. It is formed of silk, cotton, or other fabric, extended on strips of whalebone, steel, or other elastic material, inserted in, or fastened to, a rod or stick by means of pivots or hinges, in such a way as to allow of being opened and closed with ease. See parasol.
  • n. The umbrellalike disk, or swimming bell, of a jellyfish.
  • n. Any marine tectibranchiate gastropod of the genus Umbrella, having an umbrella-shaped shell; -- called also umbrella shell.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A portable shade, screen, or canopy which opens and folds, carried in the hand for the purpose of sheltering the person from the rays of the sun or from rain.
  • n. In zoology: The gelatinous disk or swimming-bell of an acaleph, as a jellyfish, by the rhythmical contraction and expansion of which the creature swims, taken either with or without the velum.
  • n. In conchology [NL. (Lamarck, 1809).] [capitalized] A genus of tectibranchiate or pleurobranchiate gastropods; the umbrella-shells, as U. umbellata. Also Ombrella. A limpet-like tectibranchiate gastropod of the genus Umbrella or family Umbrellidæ; an umbrella-shell.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. having the function of uniting a group of similar things
  • n. a formation of military planes maintained over ground operations or targets
  • n. a lightweight handheld collapsible canopy
  • adj. covering or applying simultaneously to a number of similar items or elements or groups

Etymologies

Italian ombrella, from Late Latin umbrella, alteration (influenced by umbra, shade) of Latin umbella, parasol; see umbel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian ombrella, umbrella ("an umbrella, sunshade"), dim. of ombra ("shade"), from Latin umbra ("shadow"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂☂ ☂ ☂ ☂☂ ☂ ☂ ☂

    August 2, 2010

  • A.k.a. canopy, sunshade, parasol, gamp, brolly, rainshade, bumbershoot, bumpershoot.

    June 10, 2010

  • I've been saying it over and over again, but I don't really think I stress either syllable. There might be a slightly stronger stress on the second, but not by much.

    June 18, 2009

  • The first time I heard someone say UM-brella I (in my mid-twenties) nearly snarfed. Then I realized he was serious and no one else but me thought it was weird. And then (eventually) I got the hell out of that state.

    IN-surance vs. in-SUR-ance is similar.

    Umbrella is a lovely word, but don't you like lightweight handheld collapsible canopy even better?

    June 18, 2009

  • I grew up saying "UM-brella", but when I moved to Toronto, friends teased me so much about this, that I trained myself to say "um-BRELL-a".

    June 18, 2009

  • bumberell also

    April 17, 2009

  • See this map for American pronunciation.

    April 14, 2008

  • A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella.
    Joyce, Ulysses, 9

    January 6, 2007