AskDefine | Define umbrellas

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of umbrella

Extensive Definition

"Parasol" redirects here. For other uses, see Umbrella (disambiguation) and Parasol (disambiguation).
An umbrella or parasol (sometimes colloquially, gamp, brolly, or bumbershoot) is a canopy designed to protect against precipitation or sunlight. The term parasol usually refers to an item designed to protect from the sun, and umbrella refers to a device more suited to protect from rain. Often the difference is the material; some parasols are not waterproof. Parasols are often meant to be fixed to one point and often used with patio tables or other outdoor furniture, or on the beach for shelter from the sun. Umbrellas are almost exclusively hand-held portable devices; however, parasols can also be hand-held.
The word umbrella is from the Latin word umbra, which in turn derives from the Ancient Greek ómvros (όμβρος). Its meaning is shade or shadow. Brolly is a slang word for umbrella, used often in Britain, New Zealand and Australia. Bumbershoot is a fanciful Americanism from the late 19th century.


Umbrella is another term for the parasol, which was first used as a protection against the scorching heat of the sun, "para" meaning stop or shield and "sol" meaning sun. The word "umbrella" has evolved from the Latin "umbella" (and "umbel" is a flat-topped rounded flower) or "umbra," meaning "shaded." In Britain, umbrellas are sometimes called "gamps" after the character Mrs Gamp in the Charles Dickens novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, who was known for often carrying an umbrella.


Middle East

In the sculptures at Nineveh the parasol appears frequently. Austen Henry Layard gives a picture of a bas-relief representing a king in his chariot, with an attendant holding a parasol over his head. Although sun shades were used by the Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans, their umbrellas and parasols did not feature mechanical sliding levers that would make them collapsible. A 1st century collapsible umbrella has since been recovered from the tomb of Wang Guang at the Korean site of the Lelang Commandery, illustrated in a work by Harada and Komai. Predating this is the find of canopies for four-horse-drawn carriages in the 3rd century BCE tomb of Qin Shihuang (r. 221–210 BCE), located at the site of Xi'an with the Terracotta Army. However, the Chinese collapsible umbrella is perhaps a concept that is yet centuries older than Qin's tomb. Zhou Dynasty bronze castings of complex bronze socketed hinges with locking slides and bolts—which could have been used for parasols and umbrellas— were found in an archeological site of Luoyang, dated to the 6th century BCE.


umbrellas in Bengali: ছাতা (ছত্র)
umbrellas in Czech: Deštník
umbrellas in Danish: Paraply
umbrellas in German: Regenschirm
umbrellas in Spanish: Paraguas
umbrellas in Esperanto: Ombrelo
umbrellas in French: Parapluie
umbrellas in Korean: 우산
umbrellas in Indonesian: Payung
umbrellas in Icelandic: Regnhlíf
umbrellas in Italian: Ombrello
umbrellas in Hebrew: מטרייה
umbrellas in Luxembourgish: Prabbeli (Schierm)
umbrellas in Lithuanian: Skėtis
umbrellas in Malayalam: കുട
umbrellas in Dutch: Paraplu
umbrellas in Dutch Low Saxon: Parreplu
umbrellas in Japanese: 傘
umbrellas in Norwegian: Paraply
umbrellas in Norwegian Nynorsk: Paraply
umbrellas in Polish: Parasol
umbrellas in Portuguese: Guarda-chuva
umbrellas in Russian: Зонт
umbrellas in Sicilian: Paracqua
umbrellas in Simple English: Umbrella
umbrellas in Finnish: Sateenvarjo
umbrellas in Swedish: Paraply
umbrellas in Tamil: குடை
umbrellas in Telugu: గొడుగు
umbrellas in Thai: ร่ม
umbrellas in Chinese: 傘
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