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Umbrage

Umbrage is a noun meaning annoyance or offense. It is almost always used with the verb take and, commonly, the preposition at.

History

The original meaning of umbrage was the shade of a tree. It came from the Latin word umbra, which means shadow. Over time it gained the connotation of something casting a shadow, or being suspicious.


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Umbrage also can make the adjective umbrageous. It seems this form carries both the current definition and the archaic definition, though some preferrence is shown for the tree shade definition. All usage of the word is rare and modern-day examples are difficult to find out side of a dictionary.

Examples

Like so many other posts on Facebook and elsewhere calling for attention to women’s rights, it almost immediately received a comment from someone who took umbrage with the message. [Huffington Post]

It is when Micklethwait discerns Kissinger’s real reasons for characterizing Israel as a victim — a European-style nation with some dangerous, if not deranged, neighbors — that I take umbrage. [Columbia Tribune]

Reviews for The Girl were mixed, with critics taking umbrage at Jones’s portrayal of Hitchcock as a lech, pawing away at Sienna Miller’s Tippi Hedren. [The Telegraph]

Given America’s critical importance to India, Modi sagaciously placed national interest above personal umbrage by shaking off the US visa-related humiliation heaped on him for over nine years. [Hindustan Times]

Only the street lamps shone on, making a glow-worm halo in the umbrageous alleys or drawing a tremulous image on the waters of the port. [Truth Out]

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