First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Penumbra mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Penumbra

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Pe*num"bra
  1. An incomplete or partial shadow.
  2. [Astron] The shadow cast, in an eclipse, where the light is partly, but not wholly, cut off by the intervening body; the space of partial illumination between the umbra, or perfect shadow, on all sides, and the full light.
  3. [Paint] The part of a picture where the shade imperceptibly blends with the light.

Note: ☞ The faint shade surrounding the dark central portion of a solar spot is also called the penumbra, and sometimes umbra.

Etymology: NL., fr. L. paene almost + umbra shade

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A fringe region of partial shadow around an umbra

From New Latin penumbra, from Latin paene (“almost”) + umbra (“shadow”).

  1. A partially shaded area around the edges of a shadow, especially an eclipse.
  2. (astronomy) A region around the edge of a sunspot, darker than the sun's surface but lighter than the middle of the sunspot.
  3. (figuratively) An area of uncertainty or intermediacy between two mutually exclusive states or categories.
  4. (figuratively) An area that lies on the edge of something; a fringe.
  5. Something related to, connected to, and implied by, the existence of something else that is necessary for the second thing to be full and complete in its essential aspects.
  6. (medicine) (in "ischaemic penumbra", after a stroke) A region of the brain that has lost only some of its blood supply, and retains structural integrity but has lost function.

penumbra was also found in the following language(s): Portuguese and Spanish

Fun Facts about the name Penumbra

  • How unique is the name Penumbra? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Penumbra was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Penumbra: Your name in reverse order is Arbmunep. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Preumban. How do you pronounce that?

What Penumbras Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Penumbra born Feb 18, 1951

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a female in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Western Australia approximately on 900. Your profession was monk, bee-keeper, and lone gunman.

As an inquisitive and inventive person, you liked to get to the very bottom of things and to rummage in books. Talent for drama, natural born actor. There is the invisible connection between material and spiritual world. Your lesson - to search, to find and to use this bridge.

Name poster for Penumbra

Name poster for Penumbra(click to save the high quality version)

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.