AskDefine | Define parasol

Dictionary Definition

parasol n : a handheld collapsible source of shade [syn: sunshade]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Parasol



From Spanish: parar, to stop + sol, sun


  1. A small light umbrella used as protection from the sun




  1. umbrella (also for rain)



parar, to stop + sol, sun


  1. parasol

Extensive Definition

"Parasol" redirects here. For other uses, see Umbrella (disambiguation) and Parasol (disambiguation).
An umbrella or parasol (sometimes colloquially, gamp, brolly, or bumbershoot) is a canopy designed to protect against precipitation or sunlight. The term parasol usually refers to an item designed to protect from the sun, and umbrella refers to a device more suited to protect from rain. Often the difference is the material; some parasols are not waterproof. Parasols are often meant to be fixed to one point and often used with patio tables or other outdoor furniture, or on the beach for shelter from the sun. Umbrellas are almost exclusively hand-held portable devices; however, parasols can also be hand-held.
The word umbrella is from the Latin word umbra, which in turn derives from the Ancient Greek ómvros (όμβρος). Its meaning is shade or shadow. Brolly is a slang word for umbrella, used often in Britain, New Zealand and Australia. Bumbershoot is a fanciful Americanism from the late 19th century.


Umbrella is another term for the parasol, which was first used as a protection against the scorching heat of the sun, "para" meaning stop or shield and "sol" meaning sun. The word "umbrella" has evolved from the Latin "umbella" (and "umbel" is a flat-topped rounded flower) or "umbra," meaning "shaded." In Britain, umbrellas are sometimes called "gamps" after the character Mrs Gamp in the Charles Dickens novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, who was known for often carrying an umbrella.


Middle East

In the sculptures at Nineveh the parasol appears frequently. Austen Henry Layard gives a picture of a bas-relief representing a king in his chariot, with an attendant holding a parasol over his head. Although sun shades were used by the Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans, their umbrellas and parasols did not feature mechanical sliding levers that would make them collapsible. A 1st century collapsible umbrella has since been recovered from the tomb of Wang Guang at the Korean site of the Lelang Commandery, illustrated in a work by Harada and Komai. Predating this is the find of canopies for four-horse-drawn carriages in the 3rd century BCE tomb of Qin Shihuang (r. 221–210 BCE), located at the site of Xi'an with the Terracotta Army. However, the Chinese collapsible umbrella is perhaps a concept that is yet centuries older than Qin's tomb. Zhou Dynasty bronze castings of complex bronze socketed hinges with locking slides and bolts—which could have been used for parasols and umbrellas— were found in an archeological site of Luoyang, dated to the 6th century BCE.


parasol in Bengali: ছাতা (ছত্র)
parasol in Czech: Deštník
parasol in Danish: Paraply
parasol in German: Regenschirm
parasol in Spanish: Paraguas
parasol in Esperanto: Ombrelo
parasol in French: Parapluie
parasol in Korean: 우산
parasol in Indonesian: Payung
parasol in Icelandic: Regnhlíf
parasol in Italian: Ombrello
parasol in Hebrew: מטרייה
parasol in Luxembourgish: Prabbeli (Schierm)
parasol in Lithuanian: Skėtis
parasol in Malayalam: കുട
parasol in Dutch: Paraplu
parasol in Dutch Low Saxon: Parreplu
parasol in Japanese: 傘
parasol in Norwegian: Paraply
parasol in Norwegian Nynorsk: Paraply
parasol in Polish: Parasol
parasol in Portuguese: Guarda-chuva
parasol in Russian: Зонт
parasol in Sicilian: Paracqua
parasol in Simple English: Umbrella
parasol in Finnish: Sateenvarjo
parasol in Swedish: Paraply
parasol in Tamil: குடை
parasol in Telugu: గొడుగు
parasol in Thai: ร่ม
parasol in Chinese: 傘

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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