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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And though the metals are a mix of chrome and brass, all of the tiles are white marble, from the subway pattern on the walls to the small hexagons on the floor, as is the vanity. Catherine Romano, WSJ, "Uncluttered Doesn’t Mean Empty: Lessons From a Décor Pro," 15 June 2018 Up on the 22nd floor, though, the foyer-like entrance to the Presidential Suite is covered in black and white marble. Diane Cowen, Houston Chronicle, "Tilman Fertitta goes all in on his swanky new Presidential Suite," 7 June 2018 The fast-moving squall brought buckets of rain and marble-sized hail, monopolizing social media posts. Nicole Blanchard, idahostatesman, "Storm dropped hail, half-inch of rain over Boise. Here's what to expect this weekend.," 31 May 2018 Last week, Slabiak and Hruby happily orbited each other behind the cafe’s marble counter, chatting and passing ceramic dishes as a timer counted down the seconds to ensure my cup of milky oolong tea was steeped to perfection. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appetit, "Hesperios Founder Autumn Hruby Just Opened a Cafe in Her Dreamy Manhattan Shop," 21 May 2018 This panel is white Carrara marble that’s been carved with subtle waves. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "House Envy: Stately Bloomfield Hills renovation awaits first residents," 10 Mar. 2018 There is marble just about everywhere: on the floors, in the shower, even the shower trim is made out of this sleek material. Lauren Smith, House Beautiful, "A Look Inside Kylie Jenner’s Stunning California Home," 6 Feb. 2018 Large, rugged and round as marbles, the granules found there are ideally shaped to prop open crevices in shale rock so that the oil can seep out freely. David Wethe / Bloomberg, Time, "Why This Sand From Texas Is Suddenly Worth $80 a Ton," 10 July 2018 The little girl in a green-and-white dress is on her knees, ready to launch another marble, ready to notch another glorious win and add to her already bulging bag of colorful little round trophies. Thomas Farragher,, "To Rockwell fans, their faces may look familiar," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Strangely, no president elected in my lifetime has a better sense of the violence that is marbled throughout American culture than this one does. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "The Currency of Trumpism Is Insincerity," 15 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about marble

Phrases Related to marble

lose one's marbles

Statistics for marble

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for marble

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 )

Keep scrolling for more

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).


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!