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crum·​ble ˈkrəm-bəl How to pronounce crumble (audio)
crumbled; crumbling ˈkrəm-b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce crumble (audio)

transitive verb

: to break into small pieces

intransitive verb

: to fall into small pieces : disintegrate
: to break down completely : collapse
marriages crumble


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: something crumbled : fine debris

Example Sentences

Verb Crumble the cookies into small bits. The recipe calls for the herbs to be crumbled. bones so old they had crumbled to dust She was extremely depressed after her marriage crumbled.
Recent Examples on the Web
Snag a prepared one from the bakery to crumble up and craft into darling little daisies. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Mar. 2023 The movie keeps a tight focus on Lydia as both her hubris and her past catch up to her, leading the world she's built for herself to crumble around her. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 27 Feb. 2023 As Tijuana’s plumbing has continued to crumble, beach closures across the South Bay last year soared to their highest total in more than a decade, according to data from the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Feb. 2023 Let the disk dry overnight, then use a coffee grinder to crumble the disk back into a powder. Christina Montoya Fiedler, Woman's Day, 24 Feb. 2023 Drain bacon slices on paper towels; crumble and set aside. Blaine Callahan, Hartford Courant, 30 Jan. 2023 Anderson said forecasts predict dry weather in California through the next two weeks, giving the state a chance to dry out after heavy precipitation continued to crumble away infrastructure and force rescues over the weekend. Evan Bush, NBC News, 16 Jan. 2023 While profits showed surprising resilience to runaway inflation in 2022, they’re expected to crumble next year as the pressure on margins builds, and weaker demand creates a greater risk of stagflation. John Cheng, Fortune, 21 Dec. 2022 And the former President’s recent sit-down with a white supremacist and an antisemitic, conspiracy-theory-touting rapper could lead his softening numbers to further crumble. Philip Elliott, Time, 29 Nov. 2022
Some easy ways to incorporate yesterday’s ingredients: Take stale bread and make croutons; crumble feta, chèvre or blue cheese; or shred carrots or celeriac. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, 8 Mar. 2023 Just how much power does to take to make a kaiju crumble? Kyle Hill, Discover Magazine, 24 July 2013 Warm the berries on the stovetop over low heat with fresh grated ginger, and top with a crumble made from a combo of almond butter, oats, and cinnamon. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, 17 Aug. 2020 The thick, fluted tubes of pasta were al dente, and the verdant sauce hiding in its ridges balanced a bright herbaceous burst of mint with a chewy crumble of pistachio. Sam Stone, Bon Appétit, 30 Jan. 2023 Some dishes are simply sensational, like housemade pappardelle arranged with tangy roasted Roma tomatoes, a crumble of duck sausage and pinches of ricotta sweetened with honey. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2022 On a second visit a light mousse of foie gras came with a lovely ginger crumble, poached rhubarb and unexpected spiced rum ($15 supplement). John Mariani, Forbes, 11 June 2021 The next one has eggplant, cashew Parmesan, tomato sauce, fresh pasta, and vegan ground round crumble. Tracey Lindeman, Fortune, 6 Feb. 2021 Inspired by the flavors of founder Fany Gerson's native Mexico, these cakes offer decadent combos like Oaxacan chocolate with Chiapas coffee cake crumble and tres leches ice cream with salted goats’ milk caramel. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 31 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crumble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



alteration of Middle English kremelen, frequentative of Old English gecrymian to crumble, from cruma

First Known Use


1547, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of crumble was in 1547

Dictionary Entries Near crumble

Cite this Entry

“Crumble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


crumbled; crumbling
: to break into small pieces
crumble bread
: to fall into ruin
relationships crumble

More from Merriam-Webster on crumble

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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