Definition of crumb in English:

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Pronunciation: /krəm/


1A small fragment of bread, cake, or cracker.
Example sentences
  • Rowena looked around at the wreck of her cake, at all the dirty dishes and the cake crumbs under the cooling racks.
  • Angel held out an empty plate, with a fork and a few chocolate cake crumbs on it.
  • So I continuously have chocolate cake crumbs on my head, my hair, my jumper, my collar, my shoulders, my eyelashes, my tummy, my lap…
1.1A very small amount of something: the budget provided few crumbs of comfort
More example sentences
  • I said maybe he is at some friends, to try to console her by offering crumbs of comfort.
  • In such lean times, we must search for crumbs of comfort.
  • Knowing who is holding their son and having some idea that the hostage-taking was to raise awareness of impoverished villagers is a crumb of comfort to his worried parents.
fragment, bit, morsel, particle, speck, scrap, shred, sliver, atom, grain, trace, tinge, mite, iota, jot, whit, ounce, scintilla, soupçon
informal smidgen, tad, titch
1.2The soft inner part of a loaf of bread.
Example sentences
  • Serve the food in unusual containers such as bread bowls (sturdy round loaves with some inner crumb removed) and you can give up Fairy Liquid completely.
  • It is the smell of toast, and the sensations of the hot crunchy outside of the bread combined with the soft inner crumb and melted butter, that make it so appealing.
  • The key components in achieving a crusty bread with a lusciously soft crumb are heat and steam.
1.3A dessert topping made of brown sugar, butter, flour, and spices and crumbled over a pie or cake: [as modifier]: apple crumb pie
More example sentences
  • We shared chocolate bread pudding (which tasted like a soulless brownie) and apple crumb cake which was a depressing affair.
  • For crumb topping: Combine flour and sugar and cut in butter with pastry cutter until the texture is thick.
  • Call it an apple crumb, betty or crisp, it's a fast and delicious dessert.
1.4 (usually crumb rubber) Granulated rubber, made from recycled tires.
Example sentences
  • ‘We use a minimum of 25% recycled crumb rubber,’ says one of RPM's research and development chemists, ‘but the higher the density of the material, the more recycled rubber content we can use.’
  • Once an area has been worn down, it is difficult to reseed into because of the increased temperatures generated from the crumb rubber.
  • Nor was pH of infiltrated water altered with the crumb rubber sublayer addition.
2 informal, chiefly North American An objectionable or contemptible person: he’s an absolute crumb


[with object]
Cover (food) with breadcrumbs: (as adjective crumbed) crispy crumbed mushrooms with garlic dip
More example sentences
  • I took this opportunity to experiment with frying bacon in the microwave (so-so) and crumbed the results liberally over the asparagus.
  • The pork chop was lightly crumbed, nicely trimmed and cooked to perfection.
  • She did and like so many others was completely won over by this deep fried, crumbed delicacy which comes with the yummiest of dressings.


crumbs from someone's (or a rich man's) table

An unfair and inadequate or unsatisfactory share of something.
Example sentences
  • It is that multinational corporations and the rich create wealth and he can then take crumbs from their table to distribute to the huddled masses.
  • At this year's summit they decided to drop some crumbs from their table by way of throwing some dollars at the world's trouble-spots.
  • Glasgow should not be embarrassed about taking the crumbs from the capital 's table.


Old English cruma, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kruim and German Krume. The final -b was added in the 16th century, perhaps from crumble but also influenced by words such as dumb, where the original final -b is retained although no longer pronounced.

  • The word crumb did not always have a b at the end: this was added in the 16th century, influenced partly by the related word crumble (Late Middle English) and partly by words like dumb and thumb, where the ‘b’ was silent. The dated exclamation crumbs is a euphemism for ‘Christ’ and dates from the late 19th century. Crummy (mid 19th century), now meaning ‘unpleasant’ and ‘in poor condition’, was originally spelled crumby and meant ‘crumbly’ or ‘covered in crumbs’.

Words that rhyme with crumb

become, benumb, Brum, bum, chum, drum, glum, gum, ho-hum, hum, Kara Kum, lum, mum, numb, plum, plumb, Rhum, rhumb, rum, scrum, scum, slum, some, strum, stum, succumb, sum, swum, thrum, thumb, tum, yum-yum

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: crumb

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