Definition of umbrage in US English:



  • 1Offense or annoyance.

    ‘she took umbrage at his remarks’
    • ‘General George S. Patton, for instance, took umbrage at the portraits of slovenly and sardonic warriors.’
    • ‘Dame Angela Lansbury took umbrage at the sun and forced her large pair of Jackie O sunglasses up her nose with the palm of her hand.’
    • ‘Unfortunately there was a real (fairly minor) artist named Fitzgerald who took umbrage at the book and sent his lawyers to have it pulped.’
    • ‘While Professor Singer concentrated on Australia's performance on the international stage in his oration, protestors outside took umbrage at his past comments on the disabled.’
    • ‘Locals took umbrage at such castigation, and echoing the responses to the Wylde affair, many sought to re-affirm the respectability of the colony in the face of accusations that could be economically and politically damaging.’
    • ‘Some of you took umbrage at the content and tone of my column entitled ‘Three genres of women,’ published in the September 24 edition of Imprint.’
    • ‘In fact, Ms Harney took umbrage at the assertion that Moy Chocolates, the brand stocked on board the Gulfstream IV, were her favourites and wanted it made clear that she doesn't even eat chocolate.’
    • ‘In part, Jansen's relationship with McCann broke down because the Dutchman took umbrage at being asked to grade his squad members from A to E, a move designed to allow the club to assess each player's importance.’
    • ‘A caller to a phone-in which I heard yesterday took umbrage at the underhand tactics employed by Nasa.’
    • ‘You see, the Governer of Jamaica lived just up the road at King's House, and his wife, a white woman from England, took umbrage at this impudence.’
    • ‘There was a silly argument and Coleman took umbrage at Mr Clarke's tone of voice.’
    • ‘Seems that some conservatives took umbrage at comments by the writer Joe Staten.’
    • ‘But many neighborhood mothers took umbrage at the implied criticism of how they handle their children.’
    • ‘When they tried to get him to take a pay cut in 1887 to reflect his diminished ability, he took umbrage at the perceived insult and retired.’
    • ‘Senator Vanstone took umbrage at this remark, describing his comments as ‘extraordinary’ and ‘indicative of an attitude’ at the ABC.’
    • ‘The victim's daughter, Peggy Puckett - in every other respect a model of forbearance - took umbrage at that, retorting that her father ‘hasn't said anything like that’.’
    • ‘Republican Representative James Walsh and New York Secretary of State Randy Daniels took umbrage at Cuomo's comments.’
    • ‘The Home Secretary took umbrage at the suggestion that his son had told him what to do, as opposed to taking a filial interest in his work.’
    • ‘At one point, he took umbrage at a journalist who dared to suggest that he was a ‘lucky’ manager while his discomfort in the aftermath of the French match was clearly visible to everyone at the press conference.’
    • ‘One of the lads took umbrage at this public affront to his manliness and duly acknowledged the driver with a hand signal that wasn't too friendly.’
    take offence, be offended, take exception, bridle, take something personally, be aggrieved, be affronted, take something amiss, be upset, be annoyed, be angry, be indignant, get one's hackles up, be put out, be insulted, be hurt, be wounded, be piqued, be resentful, be disgruntled, get into a huff, go into a huff, get huffy
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  • 2archaic Shade or shadow, especially as cast by trees.

    • ‘Under an oak tree's umbrage I dried the damp away.’
    • ‘Still dazed, I was sitting outside under the umbrage of a tree by the entrance.’
    • ‘The umbrage came from the tree like a dark cloud.’
    • ‘She rested beneath the umbrage of the old oak.’
    • ‘The umbrage of the tree didn't prevent the blinding light of the sun from getting to my eyes.’
    shade, shadowiness, darkness, gathering darkness, dimness, semi-darkness, twilight
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Late Middle English (in umbrage (sense 2)): from Old French, from Latin umbra ‘shadow’. An early sense was ‘shadowy outline’, giving rise to ‘ground for suspicion’, whence the current notion of ‘offense’.