Origin: L, a shadow.

1. <astronomy> The conical shadow projected from a planet or satellite, on the side opposite to the sun, within which a spectator could see no portion of the sun's disk; used in contradistinction from penumbra. See Penumbra. The central dark portion, or nucleus, of a sun spot.

The fainter part of a sun spot; now more commonly called penumbra.

2. <zoology> Any one of several species of sciaenoid food fishes of the genus Umbrina, especially the Mediterranean species (U. Cirrhosa), which is highly esteemed as a market fish; called also ombre, and umbrine.

<botany> Umbra tree, a tree (Phytolacca diocia) of the same genus as pokeweed. It is native of South America, but is now grown in southern Europe. It has large dark leaves, and a somber aspect. The juice of its berries is used for colouring wine.

(01 Mar 1998)