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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Umbel \Um"bel\, n. [L. umbella a little shadow, umbrella, dim. of umbra shade. See Umbrella.] (Bot.) A kind of flower cluster in which the flower stalks radiate from a common point, as in the carrot and milkweed. It is simple or compound; in the latter case, each peduncle bears another little umbel, called umbellet, or umbellule.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1590s in botany, from Latin umbella "parasol, sunshade," diminutive of umbra (see umbrage).


n. (context botany English) A flat-topped or rounded flower-cluster (= inflorescence) in which the individual flower stalks arise from the same point, the youngest flowers being at the centre.


n. flat-topped or rounded inflorescence characteristic of the family Umbelliferae in which the individual flower stalks arise from about the same point; youngest flowers are at the center


UMBEL (Upper Mapping and Binding Exchange Layer) is a logically organized knowledge graph of 34,000 concepts and entity types that can be used in information science for relating information from disparate sources to one another. The grounding of this information occurs by common reference to the permanent URIs for the UMBEL concepts; the connections within the UMBEL upper ontology enable concepts from sources at different levels of abstraction or specificity to be logically related. Since UMBEL is an open source extract of the OpenCyc knowledge base, it can also take advantage of the reasoning capabilities within Cyc.

UMBEL has two means to promote the semantic interoperability of information:. It is:

  • An ontology of about 35,000 reference concepts, designed to provide common mapping points for relating different ontologies or schema to one another, and
  • A vocabulary for aiding that ontology mapping, including expressions of likelihood relationships distinct from exact identity or equivalence. This vocabulary is also designed for interoperable domain ontologies.

UMBEL is written in the Semantic Web languages of SKOS and OWL 2. It is a class structure used in Linked Data, along with OpenCyc, YAGO, and the DBpedia ontology. Besides data integration, UMBEL has been used to aid concept search, concept definitions, query ranking, ontology integration, and ontology consistency checking. It has also been used to build large ontologies and for online question answering systems.

Including OpenCyc, UMBEL has about 65,000 formal mappings to DBpedia, PROTON, GeoNames, and, and provides linkages to more than 2 million Wikipedia pages (English version). All of its reference concepts and mappings are organized under a hierarchy of 31 different "super types", which are mostly disjoint from one another. Each of these "super types" has its own typology of entity classes to provide flexible tie-ins for external content. 90% of UMBEL is contained in these entity classes.

UMBEL was first released in July 2008. Version 1.00 was released in February 2011. Its current release is version 1.50.

Usage examples of "umbel".

The seeds grow numerously in the small flat flowers placed thickly together on each floral plateau, or umbel, and are best known to us in seed cake, and in Caraway comfits.

The azaleas succeeded to the anemones, the orchis and trillium followed, then the yellow gerardias and the feathery purple pogonias, and finally the growing gleam of the golden-rods along the wood-side and the red umbels of the tall eupatoriums in the meadow announced the close of summer.

Then she noticed several more dried flower umbels, and while she was digging them, she saw some thistle stalks, crisp and juicy after the spines were scraped off.

The flowers of Common Ivy are small, in clusters of nearly globular umbels and of a yellowish-green, with five broad and short petals and five stamens.

She noticed the leaves and the dried umbeled flower stalk that pointed to wild carrots a few inches below the ground, but passed them by as though she hadn't seen them.

She noticed the leaves and the dried umbeled flower stalk that pointed to wild carrots a few inches below the ground, but passed them by as though she hadn't seen them.