Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To break into small fragments or pieces.
  • intransitive verb To fall into small fragments or pieces; disintegrate.
  • intransitive verb To give way; collapse.
  • noun A baked dessert of fruit topped with a crumbly pastry mixture.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small crumb; a fragment; a particle; a morsel.
  • To break into small fragments; divide into minute parts or morsels.
  • To fall into small pieces; break or part into small fragments; become disintegrated.
  • To fall into desuetude; decay; become frittered away; disappear piecemeal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To fall into small pieces; to break or part into small fragments; hence, to fall to decay or ruin; to become disintegrated; to perish.
  • transitive verb To break into small pieces; to cause to fall in pieces.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To fall apart; to disintegrate.
  • verb To render into crumbs.
  • noun A dessert of British origin containing stewed fruit topped with a crumbly mixture of fat, flour, and sugar.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb fall apart
  • verb fall into decay or ruin
  • verb break or fall apart into fragments

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration (influenced by crumb) of Middle English cremelen, from Old English *crymelen, frequentative of gecrymmian, to break into crumbs, from cruma, crumb.]

Examples

Comments

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  • Crisps and Crumbles - Crisps are baked with the fruit mixture on the bottom with a crumb topping. The crumb topping can be made with flour, nuts, bread crumbs, cookie or graham cracker crumbs, or even breakfast cereal. Crumbles are the British version of the American Crisp.

    _whatscookingamerican.net/History

    February 6, 2008

  • “A British dessert in which raw fruit is topped with a crumbly pastry mixture and baked. One reference says a crumble is like a crisp, but not as rich.”

    Ochef.com, Cobbler, Crisp, Crumble, Grunt, Slump—You Get the Picture

    April 6, 2010