verb (used with object), crumbled, crumbling.
to break into small fragments or crumbs.
verb (used without object), crumbled, crumbling.
to fall into small pieces; break or part into small fragments.
to decay or disintegrate gradually: The ancient walls had crumbled.
a crumbly or crumbled substance.
crumbles, bits of crisp bacon, bread, etc., added to other foods, especially as a topping.
British Dialect. crumb; particle; fragment.

1375–1425; earlier crymble, crimble; late Middle English kremelen, akin to crome crumb; see -le

crumblingness, noun
half-crumbled, adjective
uncrumbled, adjective

1. mash, shatter. 2. disintegrate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crumble (ˈkrʌmbəl)
1.  to break or be broken into crumbs or fragments
2.  (intr) to fall apart or away: his resolution crumbled
3.  (Brit) a baked pudding consisting of a crumbly mixture of flour, fat, and sugar over stewed fruit: apple crumble
[C16: variant of crimble, of Germanic origin; compare Low German krömeln, Dutch kruimelen]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. *crymelan, presumed frequentative of gecrymman "to break into crumbs," from cruma (see crumb). The -b- is probably on analogy of Fr. words like humble, where it belongs.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see that's how the ball bounces (cookie crumbles).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
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.
Images for crumble
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