mar·​ble | \ˈmär-bəl \

Definition of marble 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : limestone that is more or less crystallized by metamorphism, that ranges from granular to compact in texture, that is capable of taking a high polish, and that is used especially in architecture and sculpture

b : something (such as a piece of sculpture) composed of or made from marble

c : something suggesting marble (as in hardness, coldness, or smoothness) a heart of marble

2a : a little ball made of a hard substance (such as glass) and used in various games

b marbles plural in form but singular in construction : any of several games played with these little balls

c marbles plural : the rewards to be won in competition especially for a championship used in the phrase all the marbles a game being played for all the marbles

3 : marbling

4 marbles plural : elements of common sense especially : sanity persons who are born without all their marbles — Arthur Miller


marbled; marbling\-​b(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of marble (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give a veined or mottled appearance to marble the edges of a book

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Other Words from marble


marble adjective

Examples of marble in a Sentence


The statue is made of marble. I love to play with marbles.


marble the paper with several different dyes to get a striking effect
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Over 100,000 tons of pure white Greek and Macedonian marble was used in its construction. Jim Berleley, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Dubai," 5 Oct. 2016 The flooring will be a mosaic made out of five different types of Italian marble. Kristen Bateman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Maison Ladurée's New Soho Home," 4 Feb. 2014 Once inland Friday night, Harvey was essentially a marble on a flat table, wobbling around. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Harvey: This is probably the worst US flood storm ever; I’ll never be the same," 25 Aug. 2018 Entering the 53-floor neoclassical building is a joy unto itself, with its marble grand staircase leading up to rooms with memorable views of the city skyline. Allison Weiss Entrekin, Condé Nast Traveler, "14 Best Hotels in Atlanta," 27 July 2018 Inside the 20 apartment units, floors were covered in marble, columns were capped with capitals and wall borders were adorn in classic egg-and-dart patterns. Janet Eastman,, "On the market: Over-the-top, luxury condos (photos)," 12 May 2018 Detroit Institute of Arts Just across the street from CCS, the Detroit Institute of Arts' most recent expansion, completed in 2007, re-clad the DIA's two wings in marble that supposedly would match that on the original museum building. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "These 4 Detroit buildings have controversial architecture," 3 Jan. 2018 The marble staircase is seriously grand entrance-worthy, while a floor-to-ceiling waterfall made out of volcanic rock and a winter garden are sure to wow guests. Devin Alessio, ELLE Decor, "Step Inside A Drop-Dead Gorgeous French Castle," 26 May 2016 Whoever wins will face the Cleveland Cavaliers for all the marbles, with LeBron James & co. having bested the Boston Celtics on Sunday night. Editors, USA TODAY, "Memorial Day, National Burger Day and NBA Finals: 5 things you need to know Monday," 28 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

All outfits included a large sash around the waist marbled with bright greens and abstract florals. Emily Wang, Teen Vogue, "Princess Charlotte and a Royal Pageboy Fell on the Way to Princess Eugenie's Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 The ludicrous amount of marbling on the filet melts over the coals, resulting in steak that could be cut with a plastic spoon. Stan Parish, WSJ, "‘Go Beyond Sushi’: Tokyo’s Culinary Gems," 19 June 2018 To create that coveted marbled effect, spread yogurt over each slice of toast and add six to eight small dollops of harissa, then use the backside of a spoon to swirl the harissa into the yogurt. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appetit, "Smashed Chickpeas on Toast Is Perfect for Picnics, Weeknights, and Moments of Desperation," 23 May 2018 Beyond the Supreme Court’s marbled walls, those virtues are rarely seen by the public. The Christian Science Monitor, "A big question for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee," 10 July 2018 The Puerto-Rican crested toad has greenish-brown pebbled skin and marbled golden eyes. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Puerto Rico just got 11,000 toads courtesy of the Detroit Zoo," 12 June 2018 In the past 15 years, the second coming of the tech boom has remade San Francisco, and last week’s mayoral election—an unexpected race after Mayor Ed Lee’s death in December—was marbled through with anxieties over the industry’s ascent. Nitasha Tiku, WIRED, "How Tech Shaped San Francisco’s Unresolved Mayor’s Race," 11 June 2018 Varieties are interesting in that each has something particular in terms of flavor, texture, starch content — as well as the colors of skin and pulp, including orange, purple, marbled, fuchsia and pink. Noelle Carter,, "A world renowned chef on cooking what may be Peru's most famous food — and it's probably in your kitchen," 24 May 2018 As Washington and Beijing swap threats in their escalating trade dispute, this Indiana family shows how global commerce is marbled through communities across the country. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Why Mark Zuckerberg is embracing more regulation of political ads on Facebook," 10 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'marble.' 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 marble


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1675, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for marble


Middle English, from Anglo-French marbre, from Latin marmor, from Greek marmaros

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Statistics for marble

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for marble

The first known use of marble was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for marble



English Language Learners Definition of marble

: a kind of stone that is often polished and used in buildings and statues

: a little glass ball used in some children's games

marbles : a children's game played with little glass balls


mar·​ble | \ˈmär-bəl \

Kids Definition of marble

1 : a type of limestone that is capable of taking a high polish and is used in architecture and sculpture

2 : a little ball (as of glass) used in a children's game ( marbles )

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More from Merriam-Webster on marble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with marble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for marble

Spanish Central: Translation of marble

Nglish: Translation of marble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of marble for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about marble

Comments on marble

What made you want to look up marble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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