Definition of umber in English:


Syllabification: um·ber
Pronunciation: /ˈəmbər


  • 1A natural pigment resembling but darker than ocher, normally dark yellowish-brown in color ( raw umber) or dark brown when roasted ( burnt umber).
    More example sentences
    • Dark brown umber on bright yellow is featured in one Ziss painting, and purple-inflected blue set against pale green in another.
    • 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.’
    • Natural ochres, siennas, and umbers are found in a range of colours from red, orange, yellow, and brown to virtually black.
  • 1.1The color of umber.
    More example sentences
    • In a tobacco tin after capture, the umber yellow mature newts lost their leopard spots, lay grounded as numb as scrolls of candied grapefruit peel.
    • Next season, Madam Oloviah, says it's all about the peaches and burnt umbers.
    • Delicately cut, layered slate walls, umbers and the sepia tint curved metal bar place you firmly somewhere in Eastern Europe.
  • 2A brownish-gray moth with coloring that resembles tree bark.
    • Several species in the family Geometridae
    More example sentences
    • The larva of the mottled umber moth is a reddish brown caterpillar that eats the leaves of oak trees and shrubs.
    • A mottled umber moth found its way onto a Glasgow window.
    • At least two other moths, the mottled umber moth (Erannis. defoliaria), and the March moth (Alsophila aescularia) have wingless females.


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'.

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