Definition of umber in English:

umber

noun

  • 1[mass noun] A natural pigment resembling but darker than ochre, normally dark yellowish-brown in colour (raw umber) or dark brown when roasted (burnt umber).

    • ‘As will be seen from the chemical analysis of raw umber, it contains quite a high percentage of manganese dioxide.’
    • ‘What this means is that when this umber is combined with any good, saturated colour, that other colour will lose most of it's gray properties.’
    • ‘In such works as Maternity (c. 1892; New York, MoMa), painted in a narrow range of umbers, he cultivated a technique in which form was dissolved in a mysterious and misty haze.’
    • ‘When Claude Monet wanted a brown, he typically mixed it from primary colors rather than using traditional earth pigments such as sienna and umber.’
    • ‘With horizontal swaths of greens and umber on their lower portions and lightening shades of blue at the top, the paintings suggest landscapes.’
    • ‘For the nine paintings in this exhibition, Howell mixed titanium white, ivory black and raw umber - the raw umber prevents bluing - in carefully calculated ratios to achieve what he calls ‘a movement of gray toward light and dark.’’
    • ‘After laying down discrete patches of dark umber in grid formations, Briggs dragged an unloaded brush through the pigment, leaving behind episodic squiggles that vaguely resemble Chinese characters.’
    • ‘Raw Umber came to prominence as an Italian pigment and it is named by the Italian word for shadow or darkness.’
    • ‘The name of the small river that runs down the combe, the Umber, is a clue to the fact that the mineral pigment, umber, also used to be dug and processed in the village.’
    • ‘Beneath them, swimming between steel ribs which are now covered in sponges, you will usually see a shoal of black umbers.’
    • ‘Dark brown umber on bright yellow is featured in one Ziss painting, and purple-inflected blue set against pale green in another.’
    • ‘I don't use Raw Umber nearly enough.’
    • ‘Natural ochres, siennas, and umbers are found in a range of colours from red, orange, yellow, and brown to virtually black.’
    • ‘Supergene, manganiferous clay umbers are intimately associated with both the iron and barite deposits.’
    • ‘I recall seeing bundles of this bleached umber root in the markets of Kathmandu, and have watched villagers harvest it in the high pastures of Dolpo in western Nepal.’
    hazel, chocolate-coloured, coffee-coloured, cocoa-coloured, nut-brown
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    1. 1.1 Either of the colours of umber:
      [as modifier] ‘the village is built entirely of crumbling umber limestone’
      • ‘I turned back towards the gate, and in one motion swung myself up to the top, balancing on the apex for just a moment as I glanced back at him, stubborn golden brown eyes meeting equally willful dark umber.’
      • ‘Wood grain and parquetry are abbreviated using forceful umber lines.’
      • ‘The hats obscure the heads or faces of the men who wear them, which are only loosely suggested by umber wash.’
      • ‘It resembled a five-story, refurbished manor house with umber bricks and large turrets.’
      • ‘The Earl was wearing a grey pinstripe suit and the Countess a black coat with matching umber scarf, handbag and shoes.’
      • ‘As a reaction Jazlyn pulled Peter into a hug, smoothing his umber hair.’
      • ‘The wall of umber air thins for a span and the city sharpens.’
      • ‘We moved cautiously along the rambling hothouse path, peeking over umber birds of paradise and split palm fronds and under deep flowering trees nearly impossible to imagine in the arid climate just outside the glass.’
      • ‘His winsome smile brought a sparkle to his umber eyes and caused his cousin to chuckle.’
      • ‘This painting presents another strange, thickly painted beastie, this one a squidlike creature that makes its way through a thinly painted umber field toward ribbons of rainbowlike color.’
      • ‘Nicolaus had managed to capture the glint of bronze in her deep umber strands.’
      • ‘But there is something easeful and secure about this uncluttered room with its warm umber banquettes.’
      • ‘Candy sat down next to her, throwing her umber hair over her shoulder dramatically.’
      • ‘The green ring around SurfSea had now changed to hues of yellow and umber: the colours of the fast approaching autumn.’
      • ‘Poussin perpetuates the convention, which goes back as far as the Pompeian frescoes, of burnished umber men and pearly women.’
      • ‘He had umber locks of silky hair and he wore beautiful clothing in the fashion of their culture.’
      • ‘The two forms reach toward the center of the canvas, where a cluster of black tear- or spermlike shapes converge on an umber vortex.’
      • ‘Perhaps eyes painted without black pupils seem ghostly but the painterly dabs of umber tones definitely bring this woman back to earth.’
      • ‘Her dark, umber brown hair was tied up, yet still the long ponytail reached almost four inches over her shoulder.’
      • ‘Signe searched for Flynn amongst the sea of unknown faces and soon spotted the light grey eyes and umber hair at the head of a table, reserved and calculating as usual.’
      • ‘His work was dominated by the dark colours of umber and ochre.’
      • ‘This open, umber landscape will be complemented, however, by a complex, labyrinthine village-scape.’
  • 2A brownish moth with colouring that resembles tree bark.

    • ‘The larva of the mottled umber moth is a reddish brown caterpillar that eats the leaves of oak trees and shrubs.’
    • ‘At least two other moths, the mottled umber moth (Erannis. defoliaria), and the March moth (Alsophila aescularia) have wingless females.’
    • ‘A mottled umber moth found its way onto a Glasgow window.’
    greyish-brown, brownish, dun-coloured, mud-coloured, mouse-coloured, mousy, muddy, khaki, umber
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Origin

Mid 16th century: from French (terre d')ombre or Italian (terra di) ombra, literally (earth of) shadow, from Latin umbra shadow or Umbra (feminine) Umbrian.

Pronunciation:

umber

/ˈʌmbə/