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crumble

[kruhm-buh l] /ˈkrʌm bəl/
verb (used with object), crumbled, crumbling.
1.
to break into small fragments or crumbs.
verb (used without object), crumbled, crumbling.
2.
to fall into small pieces; break or part into small fragments.
3.
to decay or disintegrate gradually:
The ancient walls had crumbled.
noun
4.
a crumbly or crumbled substance.
5.
crumbles, bits of crisp bacon, bread, etc., added to other foods, especially as a topping.
6.
British Dialect. crumb; particle; fragment.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; earlier crymble, crimble; late Middle English kremelen, akin to crome crumb; see -le
Related forms
crumblingness, noun
half-crumbled, adjective
uncrumbled, adjective
Synonyms
1. mash, shatter. 2. disintegrate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for crumble
  • crumble tomato into grinder and grind to a fine powder.
  • As the leaves crumble, leaf fragments fall to the ground.
  • For example, nests may fall because they were built too rapidly, or may crumble because of prolonged wet or humid weather.
  • When approached from the top, the vertical edge of a highwall may not be seen in time or may crumble, leading to a fatal fall.
  • Take away one piece of an antique political structure, and perhaps other pieces will crumble, too.
  • These anecdotes you present don't even sound reasonable on the surface, and crumble under the slightest scrutiny.
  • Damage their ego, and the whole tower begins to crumble.
  • Art and attention are turned inward, as personal expression flourishes in new media and old public spaces crumble.
  • Huddled in a tight formation, they wolf down bowls of rhubarb crumble.
  • It would be foolish to attempt to tie a structure to a sandy rock that would crumble at the first strong pull from the anchor.
British Dictionary definitions for crumble

crumble

/ˈkrʌmbəl/
verb
1.
to break or be broken into crumbs or fragments
2.
(intransitive) to fall apart or away: his resolution crumbled
noun
3.
(Brit) a baked pudding consisting of a crumbly mixture of flour, fat, and sugar over stewed fruit: apple crumble
Word Origin
C16: variant of crimble, of Germanic origin; compare Low German krömeln, Dutch kruimelen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for crumble
v.

late 15c., kremelen, from Old English *crymelan, presumed frequentative of gecrymman "to break into crumbs," from cruma (see crumb). The -b- is 16c., probably on analogy of French-derived words like humble, where it belongs, or by influence of crumb. Related: Crumbled; crumbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with crumble
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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