This prefix was once as common to English as it still is to German verbs and was a prefix in many ME. verbs ("ymb"; umb; umbe) meaning "around", around" "about", as umstand to stand round, guard; umbeset to beset, surround, best on every side; umbego to go around, encircle, UMBETHINK. Um is a reduced form of umb- was ad. ON, umb, corresponding to OE ymb, ymbe, prefix, ymbe prep. umbe- repr. OE. ymbe is partly an extension of umb partly a combination of um- with "be-", Latin ambi is a cognate.
To clothe, wrap up, swathe
To surround, encircle, clutch, hug, grip around, embrace, clasp around.
To surround, go around.
To go around, to encircle, to surround with something.
To sieze or grip round.
To beset on every side.
To shade around.
At times, sometimes, after a short time; umbestoundingly.
To think about, to think about oneself, consider, remember, to call to mind. Also: "Um-be-thinke" - to bethink one's self of all surroundings (or circumstances), to remember.
Of clothes: uppermost or outermost, applied to the coverlet of a bed, claimed by the priest as requisite on the death of a parishioner. 2. of things or places: lying highest or uppermost. 3. most important or prominent.