One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A light umbrella used to give shade from the sun.
- ‘Some might call them parasols, but they were definitely umbrellas.’
- ‘Using the umbrellas as parasols on a warm summer day, we walked up the shrine approach.’
- ‘Instead of spectators huddling under umbrellas they were more likely to need parasols.’
- ‘The Casabianca Compact introduces a white-gloved, white-jacketed white servant as he extends a parasol to shade a handsome, stout black woman on a walk along the water.’
- ‘The parasol has silver lights underneath it and candles on the table.’
- ‘One team produces a garden parasol to offer shade.’
- ‘I had only a little money with me, and I bought a parasol to shade my sunburned neck from the sun once we were back on the cattle drive.’
- ‘The rain has brought cheer to traders retailing umbrellas and rainwear; umbrella-making companies have launched several products this year, including parasols equipped with torches.’
- ‘The promenade was often crowded with gentlemen and ladies, shaded from the summer sun by parasols, and children scurrying on the beach.’
- ‘As for the sun, I had a parasol; it shaded my skin from the light.’
- ‘It is terraced, surrounded by hurdle fences, furnished with parasols, umbrella heaters and plants.’
- ‘As they stepped out of the shade, she turned back to call Jenny for her parasol.’
- ‘That's called an umbrella, also sometimes known as a parasol or bumbershoot.’
- ‘I opened my parasol and held it behind my head to shade me from the sunlight.’
- ‘In summer and autumn, tables and chairs shaded by parasols are laid in pavilions and on terraces decorated with colorful lanterns, with green bamboo stems swaying gently beside them.’
- ‘In 1857 it was so hot in London that Gladstone noted umbrellas being used as parasols in Piccadilly.’
- ‘Most parasols are chemically treated to block out ultra-violet light and they are hardly a bargain at up to 40,000 yen a piece.’
- ‘Then there are those which seem more appropriate eaten in the shade of a tree or beneath a parasol: think cold salmon, delicate fruit fool or perhaps a crisp meringue hidden beneath a layer of thick cream and summer fruit.’
- ‘In days gone by, women carried parasols to shade them from the sunlight.’
- ‘The overcast and drizzly weather stretched all the way from Hadrian's Wall to the Shetland Islands, making Scots reach for their umbrellas and cardies rather than parasols and bikinis.’
2A widely distributed large mushroom with a broad scaly greyish-brown cap and a tall, slender stalk.
Genus Lepiota, family Lepiotaceae, class Hymenomycetes: numerous species, especially the edible L. procera
- ‘Scotland produces all sorts of edible wild mushrooms - parasols, horse mushrooms, field mushrooms and wood blewits to name but a few - but you must be sure of what they are before eating them or you could end up in hospital or worse.’
- ‘The day of the election I picked and ate a delicious parasol mushroom - three months early.’
- ‘From the top, this could be Macrolepiota rachodes, the shaggy parasol, edible and choice.’
- ‘Some small species of parasol mushroom are reputedly harmful, so it is best not to gather any which measure less than 8 cm across the cap unless they have been positively identified.’
Early 17th century: from French, from Italian parasole, from para- ‘protecting against’ + sole ‘sun’ (from Latin sol).
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