marble

[mahr-buh l]

noun

adjective

verb (used with object), mar·bled, mar·bling.

to color or stain like variegated marble.
to apply a decorative pattern to (paper, the edges of a book, etc.) by transferring oil pigments floating on water.

Origin of marble

1150–1200; Middle English marbel, dissimilated variant of Old English marmel (in marmelstān marble stone) < Latin marmor < Greek mármaros, akin to marmaírein to sparkle
Related formsmar·bler, nounun·mar·bled, adjective

Marble

[mahr-buh l]

noun

Alice,1913–90, U.S. tennis player.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for marble

alabaster, marmoreal

Examples from the Web for marble

Contemporary Examples of marble

Historical Examples of marble

  • It was motionless as marble; but never had she seen anything so beautiful, and so unearthly.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • From this marble Phidias sculptured a statue of Vengeance, which was called Rhamnusia.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • As she rose, her face changed, she gave a cry, and fell upon the marble floor.

    To be Read at Dusk

    Charles Dickens

  • At the first glimpse of the terrible head of Medusa, they whitened into marble!

    The Gorgon's Head

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • The moon shone on them; they looked as if they were carved with marble.


British Dictionary definitions for marble

marble

noun

  1. a hard crystalline metamorphic rock resulting from the recrystallization of a limestone: takes a high polish and is used for building and sculpture
  2. (as modifier)a marble bust Related adjective: marmoreal
a block or work of art of marble
a small round glass or stone ball used in playing marbles
make one's marble good Australian and NZ informal to succeed or do the right thing
pass in one's marble Australian informal to die

verb

(tr) to mottle with variegated streaks in imitation of marble

adjective

cold, hard, or unresponsive
white like some kinds of marble
See also marbles
Derived Formsmarbled, adjectivemarbler, nounmarbly, adjective

Word Origin for marble

C12: via Old French from Latin marmor, from Greek marmaros, related to Greek marmairein to gleam
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 marble
n.

type of stone much used in sculpture, monuments, etc., early 14c., by dissimilation from marbra (mid-12c.), from Old French marbre (which itself underwent dissimilation of 2nd -r- to -l- in 14c.; marbre persisted in English into early 15c.), from Latin marmor, from or cognate with Greek marmaros "marble, gleaming stone," of unknown origin, perhaps originally an adjective meaning "sparkling," which would connect it with marmairein "to shine." The Latin word was taken directly into Old English as marma. German Marmor is restored Latin from Old High German marmul. Meaning "little balls of marble used in a children's game" is attested from 1690s.

adj.

late 14c., "of marble," from marble (n.). Meaning "mottled like marble" is mid-15c. Marble cake is attested from 1864.

v.

1590s (implied in marbled), "to give (something) the appearance of marble," from marble (n.). Related: Marbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

marble in Science

marble

[märbəl]

A metamorphic rock consisting primarily of calcite and dolomite. Marble is formed by the metamorphism of limestone. Although it is usually white to gray in color, it often has irregularly colored marks due to the presence of impurities such as silica and clay. Marble is used especially in sculpture and as a building material.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with marble

marble

see have all one's buttons (marbles).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.