Definition of marble in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmärbəl/


1A hard crystalline metamorphic form of limestone, typically white with mottlings or streaks of color, that is capable of taking a polish and is used in sculpture and architecture.
Example sentences
  • She walked through her kitchen and down the hall to the foyer, which was complete with white marble flooring and a crystal chandelier.
  • The room was painted pearl white which happened to match the polished marble floor.
  • The floors were made from highly polished white marble that appeared to be as new as the day it had been set down.
1.1Used in similes and comparisons with reference to the smoothness, hardness, or color of marble: her shoulders were as white as marble
More example sentences
  • Translucent waves, coloured like green marble, arched for impact on crenulated rocks.
  • A cold slab of marble had replaced a smooth hand he once saw.
  • It felt as smooth as marble and had the intense burning cold as ice.
1.2A marble sculpture.
Example sentences
  • Within that huge space, the marbles will be arrayed around the outside of a rectangular structure that is the same length and width as the Parthenon.
  • Of the outstanding figures of the period, Henry Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, was the first to collect marbles seriously.
  • Sciberras excels in his evaluation of evidence and in technical matters such as the precise identification of all the various marbles.
2A small ball of colored glass or similar material used as a toy.
Example sentences
  • For Irving, I bought a one dollar sack of glass marbles.
  • Drive-by vandals hurling rocks and marbles at glass shopfronts are forcing business owners to fear for their safety and bear the cost of thousands of dollars in repairs.
  • Fill martini glasses with BBs or marbles, leaving 1/2 inch at the top of the glass.
2.1 (marbles) [treated as singular] A game in which small balls of colored glass are rolled along the ground.
Example sentences
  • Outdoor games like marbles, jacks, hopscotch not only occupy your kids, they will also strengthen coordination skills.
  • Pupils at Seend School did most of the organisation for the event themselves and thought of ideas for games, including a treasure hunt, marbles and lucky dips.
  • She kept herself busy playing whip a top, hoopla, marbles, hopscotch, hide and seek and oranges and lemons.
3 (one's marbles) informal One’s mental faculties: I thought she’d lost her marbles, asking a question like that
More example sentences
  • But as Nietzsche discovered, incessant philosophical thought can also damage one's marbles.
  • There's no hope for him now because he's lost his marbles and has gone completely crazy.
  • His friends thought it would be a laugh, but they never expected him to stay for almost a year and they start to wonder if he's lost his marbles.


[with object]
Stain or streak (something) so that it looks like variegated marble: the low stone walls were marbled with moss and lichen
More example sentences
  • It looks good if you marble it instead of beating it in completely.
  • The way that the effects people make the dummies look eerily life like is astonishing - everything from puncturing in real hair to marbling the skin is done.
  • Its breath, coming as wind, swirls and marbles the planetary surface, changing the patterns of the clouds.


pick up one's marbles and go home

North American informal Withdraw petulantly from an activity after having suffered a setback: he doesn’t have the guts to take a bad defeat, and is now picking up his marbles and going home
More example sentences
  • I would hope he would recognize that this is not an appropriate location, pick up his marbles and go home, but we've long since given up hope on that.
  • And when he does not get his way threatens to pick up his marbles and go home.



Example sentences
  • It is part of a joint exhibition with the Painting Craft Teachers' Association and the wonderful pieces will be displayed alongside work by some of the country's best contemporary grainers and marblers.
  • Its continued use was confined largely to the monumental brass trade which was controlled by the marblers ' guild until well into the 16th century.
  • In 1853, Charles Woolnough, an English marbler, published a book exposing the mysteries of marbling.


Pronunciation: /-blē/ Pronunciation: /-bəlē/
Example sentences
  • Lifting one shoulder in a slight shrug, Eric watched the plump, juicy strawberries fall from his hand into the marbly mixture of ice and yoghurt and dried blood with a dim sort of fascination.
  • When I think of those marbly black pebbles on our beach, it almost makes me hungry, for what they represent, that is.
  • The two of them were in a small room made of some kind of marbly stone.


Middle English: via Old French (variant of marbre) from Latin marmor, from Greek marmaros 'shining stone', associated with marmairein 'to shine'.

  • Marble goes back to Greek marmaros ‘shining stone’, a limestone used for building and sculpture. The small balls of the children's game have been called marbles since the late 17th century, though they are now mostly made of glass. In the game players take turns at shooting their own marble at marbles inside a ring, trying to knock other's marbles out of the ring to win them. Some players lose some or all of their marbles—the idea behind marbles as a term for someone's mental faculties.

Words that rhyme with marble

barbel, garble

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mar·ble

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