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

Definition of crumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to break into small pieces

intransitive verb

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



Definition of crumble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something crumbled : fine debris

Examples of crumble in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb A few weeks later, Konstantin Ignatov was scooped up at LAX, and the OneCoin empire began to crumble. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Nov. 2021 After decades of cultural dominance, Victoria’s Secret’s authority began to crumble in the late 2010s. Frances Solá-santiago,, 29 Sep. 2021 But if Álvarez loses to Plant, his legacy will crumble. Anthony Stitt, Forbes, 5 Nov. 2021 For all of Larraín's artistry, Spencer would crumble in the hands of the wrong actress, and Stewart gives one of the best performances of her career so far as this highly subjective version of Diana. Mary Sollosi,, 4 Nov. 2021 In chances, only to crumble late in the season to the fourth-worst record. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2021 Democratic leaders are using to bring the party fails, the whole edifice could crumble. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 23 Sep. 2021 There were many signs that the Afghan security forces would crumble under a Taliban onslaught. Caroline Orr Bueno, The New Republic, 23 Aug. 2021 On a humid, rainy afternoon, Susan had demonstrated how to dig a hole for my tomato plant and twiddle it with my fingers so that the roots would crumble., 24 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The crumble is full of oats, almond meal, sugar, salt, butter, and even more cinnamon. Paulina Jayne Isaac, Glamour, 10 Nov. 2021 Toasted just enough to bring out its subtly nutty flavor and, thus, pebbly enough to reduce one of my favorite premolars into a crumble of toothy dust. Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2021 Molly's inability to compromise was the basis of the couple's crumble. Skyler Caruso,, 21 Oct. 2021 In their long history of quarterback futility, Washington has seen many a passer crumble in response to such transgressions. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 17 Sep. 2021 Place the bowl of crumble in the freezer and retrieve the pie plate. Star Tribune, 28 July 2021 Warm, inviting and luxe, the caviar course (tamagoyaki-like omelette, brown butter crumble, bonito and royal sturgeon caviar) is the dish embodiment of the dining room. Caroline Hatchett, Robb Report, 26 Aug. 2021 They're seasoned with cumin and chili powder, then topped with cheese and a crumble of tortilla chips. Christopher Michel, Country Living, 25 Aug. 2021 Pour the filling into the shaped bottom crust, top it with the crumble, and slide the whole thing into the oven. Star Tribune, 28 July 2021

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.

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First Known Use of crumble


1547, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crumble


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

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Time Traveler for crumble

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The first known use of crumble was in 1547

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Last Updated

22 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crumble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for crumble



English Language Learners Definition of crumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to break (something) into small pieces
: to separate into many small pieces : to fall apart
: to break down completely : to stop functioning



English Language Learners Definition of crumble (Entry 2 of 2)

: small pieces of something that has been crumbled


crum·​ble | \ ˈkrəm-bəl How to pronounce crumble (audio) \
crumbled; crumbling

Kids Definition of crumble

1 : to break into small pieces crumble bread
2 : to fall to pieces : fall into ruin Any moment these walls may crumble upon us …— Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

More from Merriam-Webster on crumble

Nglish: Translation of crumble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crumble for Arabic Speakers


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