crumbled


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crum·ble

 (krŭm′bəl)
v. crum·bled, crum·bling, crum·bles
v.tr.
To break into small fragments or pieces: I crumbled the cheese into the salad.
v.intr.
1. To fall into small fragments or pieces; disintegrate: The ancient castle had crumbled to ruins.
2. To give way; collapse: an ego that crumbles under pressure.
n.
1. A baked dessert of fruit topped with a crumbly pastry mixture: cherry crumble.
2. The crumbly mixture on top of such a dessert.

[Alteration (influenced by crumb) of Middle English cremelen, from Old English *crymelen, frequentative of gecrymmian, to break into crumbs, from cruma, crumb.]
References in classic literature ?
The passage was undoubtedly artificial, a tunnel made by the hands of men now long crumbled into dust.
The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers.
All crumbled away from us; and we, adrift in chaos, may hearken to the gusts of homeless wind, that go sighing and murmuring about in quest of what was once a world!
So deep a stain, indeed, that his dry old bones, in the Charter-street burial-ground, must still retain it, if they have not crumbled utterly to dust I know not whether these ancestors of mine bethought themselves to repent, and ask pardon of Heaven for their cruelties; or whether they are now groaning under the heavy consequences of them in another state of being.
There in the middle of the moonlit valley below them stood the "ha'nted" house, utterly isolated, its fences gone long ago, rank weeds smothering the very doorsteps, the chimney crumbled to ruin, the window-sashes vacant, a corner of the roof caved in.
The remains of my breakfast of bread and milk stood on the table, and having crumbled a morsel of roll, I was tugging at the sash to put out the crumbs on the window- sill, when Bessie came running upstairs into the nursery.
he said, and as he crumbled the rich black soil she saw he was sniffing up the scent of it.
Thus it was, however; and the last drop of blood having been extracted from the flints, and the last screw of the rack having been turned so often that its purchase crumbled, and it now turned and turned with nothing to bite, Monseigneur began to run away from a phenomenon so low and unaccountable.
The venerable cathedral towers, and the old jackdaws and rooks whose airy voices made them more retired than perfect silence would have done; the battered gateways, one stuck full with statues, long thrown down, and crumbled away, like the reverential pilgrims who had gazed upon them; the still nooks, where the ivied growth of centuries crept over gabled ends and ruined walls; the ancient houses, the pastoral landscape of field, orchard, and garden; everywhere - on everything - I felt the same serener air, the same calm, thoughtful, softening spirit.
said Erskine coolly, as the last fragment of Hebe's head crumbled at the touch of the bullet.
The wife minced a bit of meat, then crumbled some bread on a trencher, and placed it before me.
Then the twins crumbled their bread on the ground, and the wrens pecked it, and chirruped and chirped.