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crumb

[kruhm]
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noun
  1. a small particle of bread, cake, etc., that has broken off.
  2. a small particle or portion of anything; fragment; bit.
  3. the soft inner portion of a bread (distinguished from crust).
  4. crumbs, a cake topping made of sugar, flour, butter, and spice, usually crumbled on top of the raw batter and baked with the cake.
  5. Slang. a contemptibly objectionable or worthless person.
verb (used with object)
  1. Cookery. to dress or prepare with crumbs.
  2. to break into crumbs or small fragments.
  3. to remove crumbs from: The waiter crumbed the table.

Origin of crumb

before 1000; Middle English crome, crume, Old English cruma; akin to Dutch kruim, German Krume crumb, Latin grūmus heap of earth
Related formscrumb·a·ble, adjectivecrumb·er, nounde·crumb, verb (used with object)

Synonyms

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2. scrap, shred, morsel, sliver, speck.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for crumb

crumb

noun
  1. a small fragment of bread, cake, or other baked foods
  2. a small piece or bitcrumbs of information
  3. the soft inner part of bread
  4. slang a contemptible person
verb
  1. (tr) to prepare or cover (food) with breadcrumbs
  2. to break into small fragments
adjective
  1. (esp of pie crusts) made with a mixture of biscuit crumbs, sugar, etc
Derived Formscrumber, noun

Word Origin

Old English cruma; related to Middle Dutch krome, Middle High German krūme, Latin grūmus heap of earth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for crumb

n.

Old English cruma "crumb, fragment," from a West Germanic root of obscure origin (cf. Middle Dutch crume, Dutch kruim, German krume). The -b- appeared mid-15c., in part by analogy with words like dumb, in part from crumble. Slang meaning "lousy person" is 1918, from crumb, U.S. slang for "body-louse" (1863), so called from resemblance.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper