Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[peb-uh l] /ˈpɛb əl/
a small, rounded stone, especially one worn smooth by the action of water.
Also called pebble leather. leather that has been given a granulated surface.
any granulated or crinkled surface, especially of a textile.
a transparent colorless rock crystal used for the lenses of eyeglasses.
a lens made from this crystal.
verb (used with object), pebbled, pebbling.
to prepare (leather) so as to have a granulated surface.
to pelt with or as with pebbles.
Origin of pebble
1250-1300; Middle English pibbil, puble, pobble; compare Old English pæbbel (in place names), papel-, popel- (in compounds); phonological relations unclear
Related forms
unpebbled, adjective
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for pebble
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Joy sparkles on every pebble; Art spreads its welcome arms through every spray of seaweed.

  • But Prudy was picking a pebble out of her shoe, and did not start at once.

    Little Prudy Sophie May
  • A pebble 's all right among pebbles, but it looks mighty small 'longside o' boulders.

    The Uncalled Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • This time the pebble may swing off at an angle in another direction.

  • It would have given his most spiritless followers the pith to run till morning across a strand of rock and pebble.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
British Dictionary definitions for pebble


  1. a small smooth rounded stone, esp one worn by the action of water
  2. (geology) a rock fragment, often rounded, with a diameter of 4–64 mm and thus smaller than a cobble but larger than a granule
  1. a transparent colourless variety of rock crystal, used for making certain lenses
  2. such a lens
(modifier) (informal) (of a lens or of spectacles) thick, with a high degree of magnification or distortion
  1. a grainy irregular surface, esp on leather
  2. leather having such a surface
(informal, mainly Austral) a troublesome or obstinate person or animal
verb (transitive)
to pave, cover, or pelt with pebbles
to impart a grainy surface to (leather)
Derived Forms
pebbly, adjective
Word Origin
Old English papolstān, from papol- (perhaps of imitative origin) + stān stone
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 pebble

small, smooth stone, late 13c., from Old English papolstan "pebblestone," of unknown origin. Perhaps imitative. Some sources compare Latin papula "pustule, pimple, swelling."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
pebble in Science
A rock fragment larger than a granule and smaller than a cobble. Pebbles have a diameter between 4 and 64 mm (0.16 and 2.56 inches) and are often rounded.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with pebble
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

Difficulty index for pebble

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pebble

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pebble