umbrella


umbrella
umbrellaless, adj.umbrellalike, adj.
/um brel"euh/, n.
1. 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.
2. the saucer- or bowl-shaped, gelatinous body of a jellyfish; bell.
3. something that covers or protects from above, as military aircraft safeguarding surface forces: an air umbrella.
4. any general kind of protection: a price umbrella.
5. something, as an organization or policy, that covers or encompasses a number of groups or elements.
adj.
6. shaped like or intended to perform the function of an umbrella.
7. 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; < It ombrella, earlier var. of ombrello < LL umbrella, alter. (with influence of L umbra shade) of L umbella sunshade. See UMBEL]

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device
      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.

      Umbrellas in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, and India were used to protect important persons from the sun. They were often large and held by bearers, and they served as marks of honour and authority for the wearer. The ancient Greeks helped introduce umbrellas into Europe as sunshades, and the Romans used them to protect against rain. The use of umbrellas disappeared in Europe during the Middle Ages but had reappeared in Italy by the late 16th century, where they were regarded as marks of distinction for the pope and clergy. By the 17th century the use of the umbrella had spread to France, and by the 18th century umbrellas were common throughout Europe. A small, dainty umbrella used for shading women's faces from the sun became known as a parasol and was a standard element of fashionable women's outdoor attire in the 18th and 19th centuries. The traditional construction of umbrellas using cane ribs was replaced in the 1850s by modern umbrellas using a very light but strong steel frame. Men in the West began carrying umbrellas for personal use in the mid-19th century. Men's umbrellas were generally black, but in the 20th century men's as well as women's umbrellas were made in a variety of bright and colourful designs.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Umbrella — Um*brel la, n. [It. umbrella, fr. ombra a shade, L. umbra; cf. L. umbella a sunshade, a parasol. Cf. {Umbel}, {Umbrage}.] 1. A shade, screen, or guard, carried in the hand for sheltering the person from the rays of the sun, or from rain or snow.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • umbrella — um‧brel‧la [ʌmˈbrelə] noun [countable] something which covers or includes a wide range of different parts: • The international organization pulls together a huge number of companies under the umbrella of the parent group. • an EU umbrella… …   Financial and business terms

  • umbrella — (n.) c.1600, 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 (Cf. umbrage)). A sunshade in the Mediterranean, a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • umbrella — [um brel′ə] n. [It ombrella < LL umbrella (altered by assoc. with L umbra, shade) < L umbella, parasol, dim. of umbra, shade] 1. a screen or shade, usually of cloth stretched over a folding radial frame, carried for protection against the… …   English World dictionary

  • umbrella — um·brel·la adj: being or relating to a supplemental insurance policy that extends the coverage of an underlying policy on the same risk an umbrella policy umbrella liability insurance Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • umbrella — ► NOUN 1) a device consisting of a circular fabric canopy on a folding metal frame supported by a central rod, used as protection against rain. 2) a protecting force or influence. 3) (before another noun ) including or containing many different… …   English terms dictionary

  • Umbrella — Umbrella, s.u. Schüsselschnecke e) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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