• synonyms


[peb-uh l]
  1. a small, rounded stone, especially one worn smooth by the action of water.
  2. Also called pebble leather. leather that has been given a granulated surface.
  3. any granulated or crinkled surface, especially of a textile.
  4. a transparent colorless rock crystal used for the lenses of eyeglasses.
  5. a lens made from this crystal.
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verb (used with object), peb·bled, peb·bling.
  1. to prepare (leather) so as to have a granulated surface.
  2. to pelt with or as with pebbles.
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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 formsun·peb·bled, adjective
Can be confusedboulder cobblestone granule pebble rock stone
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pebbling

Historical Examples of pebbling

  • And pebbling and mossing and growing sea anemones in basins.

    The Celebrity at Home

    Violet Hunt

  • There is no more violent splashing and pebbling, racing, chasing, separating.

    The Diary of a Goose Girl

    Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

British Dictionary definitions for pebbling


  1. curling the act of spraying the rink with drops of hot water to slow down the stone
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    1. a small smooth rounded stone, esp one worn by the action of water
    2. geologya 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
  1. (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
  2. informal, mainly Australian a troublesome or obstinate person or animal
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verb (tr)
  1. to pave, cover, or pelt with pebbles
  2. to impart a grainy surface to (leather)
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Derived Formspebbly, adjective

Word Origin for pebble

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

Word Origin and History for pebbling



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pebbling in Science


  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with pebbling


see not the only fish in the sea (pebble on the beach).

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