crumbling


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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.]
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crumbling

adjective disintegrating, collapsing, deteriorating, decaying, eroding, decomposing, mouldering the building's leaking roofs, broken windows, and crumbling stonework
Translations
References in classic literature ?
This rude and neglected building was one of those deserted works, which, having been thrown up on an emergency, had been abandoned with the disappearance of danger, and was now quietly crumbling in the solitude of the forest, neglected and nearly forgotten, like the circumstances which had caused it to be reared.
But as for the old structure of our story, its white-oak frame, and its boards, shingles, and crumbling plaster, and even the huge, clustered chimney in the midst, seemed to constitute only the least and meanest part of its reality.
Next rose before her in memory's picture-gallery, the intricate and narrow thoroughfares, the tall, grey houses, the huge cathedrals, and the public edifices, ancient in date and quaint in architecture, of a continental city; where new life had awaited her, still in connexion with the mis-shapen scholar: a new life, but feeding itself on time-worn materials, like a tuft of green moss on a crumbling wall.
There was the doughty doughnut, the tender olykoek, and the crisp and crumbling cruller; sweet cakes and short cakes, ginger cakes and honey cakes, and the whole family of cakes.
There is no pleasanter place for such a meal than a raft that is gliding down the winding Neckar past green meadows and wooded hills, and slumbering villages, and craggy heights graced with crumbling towers and battlements.
I am poor; for I find that, when I have paid my father's debts, all the patrimony remaining to me will be this crumbling grange, the row of scathed firs behind, and the patch of moorish soil, with the yew- trees and holly-bushes in front.
Before passing the threshold, I paused to admire a quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front, and especially about the principal door; above which, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, I detected the date '1500,' and the name 'Hareton Earnshaw.
To the eye it is fair enough, here; but seen in its integrity, under the sky, and by the daylight, it is a crumbling tower of waste, mismanagement, extortion, debt, mortgage, oppression, hunger, nakedness, and suffering.
In those that remained, there was scarcely any glass; and, through the crumbling frames by which the bad air seemed always to come in, and never to go out, I saw, through other glassless windows, into other houses in a similar condition, and looked giddily down into a wretched yard, which was the common dust-heap of the mansion.
Bricks," he whispered, very low--"old yellow bricks, crumbling with age in a garden- wall; the sweet breath of young cows standing in a mountain-stream; the lead roof of a dove- cote--or perhaps a granary--with the mid-day sun on it; black kid gloves lying in a bureau- drawer of walnut-wood; a dusty road with a horses' drinking-trough beneath the sycamores; little mushrooms bursting through the rotting leaves; and--and--and--"
The eight great polished columns stood up in the dusk like so many huge piles supporting the threatening, crumbling, big-bellied cliffs whose layers were represented by the circular, parallel, waving lines of the balconies of the grand, first and second tiers of boxes.
The crumbling window-casings were hollowed by rain, defaced by time; the balconies were broken, the terraces demolished.