Umbrage | Definition, Etymology, Synonyms & Antonyms

Umbrage

Umbrage (noun)

Definition

Umbrage is a noun that refers to a feeling of offense, resentment, or annoyance caused by a perceived slight, insult, or suspicion of ill-intent from someone's words or actions. It is the act of taking offense or feeling hurt by something said or done.

Etymology

The word umbrage has its origins in late Middle English, coming from the Old French term ombrage, which means shade or shadow. In the figurative sense, it evolved to represent a sense of being overshadowed or taking offense.

Synonyms

  • Offense
  • Resentment
  • Indignation
  • Annoyance
  • Irritation
  • Pique

Antonyms

  • Approval
  • Acceptance
  • Compliment
  • Praise
  • Appreciation

Example

After working tirelessly on the project, John took umbrage when his manager dismissed his efforts as insignificant.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is umbrage?

It is a noun that describes the feeling of offense, resentment, or annoyance someone experiences due to a perceived insult, slight, or suspicion of ill-intent.

How do you respond when someone takes umbrage at your words?

When someone takes umbrage at your words, it is essential to empathize with their feelings and intentions. Listen actively and apologize if your words were unintentionally hurtful. Clarify your intent if there was a misunderstanding, and try to communicate with kindness and sensitivity.

Is it reasonable to take umbrage at constructive criticism?

Taking umbrage at constructive criticism is not always reasonable, as the intention behind such feedback is to help improve performance or behavior. However, some individuals might be sensitive to criticism, and it is essential to deliver constructive feedback tactfully and respectfully.

How can one avoid causing umbrage unintentionally?

To avoid causing umbrage unintentionally, it is crucial to choose words carefully, consider the context, and be aware of the emotional sensitivity of the person you are communicating with. Being respectful, empathetic, and open to dialogue can also help prevent misunderstandings.

What are the consequences of holding onto umbrage for too long?

Holding onto umbrage for an extended period can lead to strained relationships, increased resentment, and decreased communication. It may also hinder personal growth and prevent individuals from addressing conflicts constructively. Resolving issues and expressing feelings openly can help alleviate these consequences.

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