Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kruhm-buh l] /ˈkrʌm bəl/
verb (used with object), crumbled, crumbling.
to break into small fragments or crumbs.
verb (used without object), crumbled, crumbling.
to fall into small pieces; break or part into small fragments.
to decay or disintegrate gradually:
The ancient walls had crumbled.
a crumbly or crumbled substance.
crumbles, bits of crisp bacon, bread, etc., added to other foods, especially as a topping.
British Dialect. crumb; particle; fragment.
Origin of crumble
late Middle English
1375-1425; earlier crymble, crimble; late Middle English kremelen, akin to crome crumb; see -le
Related forms
crumblingness, noun
half-crumbled, adjective
uncrumbled, adjective
1. mash, shatter. 2. disintegrate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for crumble
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With every lurch of her feet, Andrew expected to feel her crumble beneath him.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • It seemed too bright for a thing formed of dust, and doomed to crumble into dust again.

    Sylph Etherege Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Not yet to be, and nevertheless to crumble away in this fashion under the sky!

  • And if he did, are these walls that will crumble at a few cannon-shots?

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • Is it in this wise that a house noble for centuries is to crumble into ruin?

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for crumble


to break or be broken into crumbs or fragments
(intransitive) to fall apart or away: his resolution crumbled
(Brit) a baked pudding consisting of a crumbly mixture of flour, fat, and sugar over stewed fruit: apple crumble
Word Origin
C16: variant of crimble, of Germanic origin; compare Low German krömeln, Dutch kruimelen
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for crumble

late 15c., kremelen, from Old English *crymelan, presumed frequentative of gecrymman "to break into crumbs," from cruma (see crumb). The -b- is 16c., probably on analogy of French-derived words like humble, where it belongs, or by influence of crumb. Related: Crumbled; crumbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with crumble
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for crumble

Word Value for crumble

Scrabble Words With Friends