- metamorphosed limestone, consisting chiefly of recrystallized calcite or dolomite, capable of taking a high polish, occurring in a wide range of colors and variegations and used in sculpture and architecture.
- any variety of this stone: Carrara marble.
- an object made of or carved from this stone, especially a sculpture: Renaissance marbles.
- a piece of this stone: the fallen marbles of Roman ruins.
- (not in technical use) any of various breccias or other stones that take a high polish and show a variegated pattern.
- a marbled appearance or pattern; marbling: The woodwork had a greenish marble.
- anything resembling marble in hardness, coldness, smoothness, etc.: a brow of marble.
- something lacking in warmth or feeling.
- a little ball made of stone, baked clay, glass, porcelain, agate, or steel, especially for use in games.
- marbles, (used with a singular verb) a game for children in which a marble is propelled by the thumb to hit another marble so as to drive it out of a circle drawn or scratched on the ground.
- marbles, Slang. normal rational faculties; sanity; wits; common sense: to have all one's marbles; to lose one's marbles.
- consisting or made of marble.
- like marble, as in hardness, coldness, smoothness, etc.
- lacking in warmth, compassion, or sympathy: marble heart.
- of variegated or mottled color.
- 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
- Alice,1913–90, U.S. tennis player.
Examples from the Web for marble
Wedged between two marble buildings at the lavishly designed Lincoln Center, sits a single white tent.How the Circus Got a Social Conscience
November 7, 2014
He rests lavishly, depicted in a marble sarcophagus that stares up for eternity at the carved depictions of his life story.Brooklyn’s Gangster Graveyard
October 23, 2014
A civilian named Richard Gabrielle was trapped under a pile of marble, but alive during those last minutes.The Flying New York Fireman Who Shined on 9/11
September 11, 2014
“Expansion favors everyone,” added the 79-year-old Tuscan, who started off as a bookkeeper in a marble firm in 1955.
Carrara marble has been quarried as far back as Roman times and was used by emperors for massive monuments like the Rome Pantheon.
It was motionless as marble; but never had she seen anything so beautiful, and so unearthly.
From this marble Phidias sculptured a statue of Vengeance, which was called Rhamnusia.
As she rose, her face changed, she gave a cry, and fell upon the marble floor.To be Read at Dusk
At the first glimpse of the terrible head of Medusa, they whitened into marble!The Gorgon's Head
The moon shone on them; they looked as if they were carved with marble.Quaint Courtships
- a hard crystalline metamorphic rock resulting from the recrystallization of a limestone: takes a high polish and is used for building and sculpture
- (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
- (tr) to mottle with variegated streaks in imitation of marble
- cold, hard, or unresponsive
- white like some kinds of marble
Word Origin and History for marble
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.
late 14c., "of marble," from marble (n.). Meaning "mottled like marble" is mid-15c. Marble cake is attested from 1864.
1590s (implied in marbled), "to give (something) the appearance of marble," from marble (n.). Related: Marbling.
- 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.
Idioms and Phrases with marble
see have all one's buttons (marbles).