[ mahr-bling ]
/ ˈmɑr blɪŋ /


the act, process, or art of coloring or staining in imitation of variegated marble.
an appearance like that of variegated marble.
the intermixture of fat with lean in a cut of meat, which contributes to flavor and tenderness.
Bookbinding. marblelike decoration on the paper edges, lining, or binding boards of a book.



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Origin of marbling

First recorded in 1680–90; marble + -ing1

Definition for marbling (2 of 2)

[ mahr-buh l ]
/ ˈmɑr bəl /



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


mar·bler, nounun·mar·bled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for marbling

British Dictionary definitions for marbling (1 of 2)

/ (ˈmɑːblɪŋ) /


a mottled effect or pattern resembling marble
such an effect obtained by transferring floating colours from a bath of gum solution
the streaks of fat in lean meat

British Dictionary definitions for marbling (2 of 2)

/ (ˈmɑːbəl) /



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


cold, hard, or unresponsive
white like some kinds of marble
See also marbles

Derived forms of marble

marbled, 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

Scientific definitions for marbling

[ 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 marbling


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.