- a hard, crystalline or granular, metamorphic limestone, white or variously colored and sometimes streaked or mottled, which can take a high polish: it is much used in building and sculpture
- a piece or slab of this stone, used as a monument, inscribed record, etc.
- a piece of sculpture in marble
- anything resembling or suggesting marble in hardness, smoothness, coldness, coloration, etc.
- a little ball of stone, glass, or clay, used in games
- a children's game in which a marble is propelled by the thumb at other marbles, usually in an attempt to drive them out of a marked circle
- a marbled pattern; marbling
- Slang mental soundness; sanity; wits: to lose one's marbles
Origin of marbleMiddle English marble, marbre ; from Old French marbre ; from Classical Latin marmor ; from Classical Greek marmaros, white stone, origin, originally boulder (meaning influenced, influence by marmairein, to shine) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form mer-, to rub from source mare
- made or consisting of marble
- like marble in some way; hard, cold, smooth, white, etc., or streaked, mottled, etc.
go for all the marbles☆
- a. A metamorphic rock formed by alteration of limestone or dolomite, often irregularly colored by impurities, and used especially in architecture and sculpture.b. A piece of this rock.c. A sculpture made from this rock.
- Something resembling or suggesting metamorphic rock, as in being very hard, smooth, or cold: a heart of marble; a brow of marble.
- Games a. A small hard ball, usually of glass, used in children's games.b. marbles (used with a sing. verb) Any of various games played with marbles.
- marbles Slang Common sense; sanity: completely lost his marbles after the stock market crash.
transitive verbmar·bled, mar·bling, mar·bles
- Composed of metamorphic rock: a marble hearth.
- Resembling metamorphic rock in consistency, texture, venation, color, or coldness.
Origin of marbleMiddle English marbre, marble, from Old French marbre, from Latin marmor, from Greek marmaros, of unknown origin.
- (uncountable) A rock of crystalline limestone.
- (countable) A small spherical ball of rock, glass, ceramic or metal used in children's games.
(third-person singular simple present marbles, present participle marbling, simple past and past participle marbled)
- To cause (something to have) the streaked or swirled appearance of certain types of marble, for example by mixing viscous ingredients incompletely, or by applying paint or other colorants unevenly.
- (intransitive) To get the streaked or swirled appearance of certain types of marble, for example due to the incomplete mixing of viscous ingredients, or the uneven application of paint or other colorants.
- To cause meat, usually beef, pork, or lamb, to be interlaced with fat so that its appearance resembles that of marble.
- (intransitive, of meat, especially beef) To become interlaced with fat.
(comparative more marble, superlative most marble)
- Made of, or resembling, marble.
- a marble mantel; marble paper
- (figuratively) Cold; hard; unfeeling.
- a marble heart
From Anglo-Norman and Old French marbre, from Latin marmor, from Ancient Greek μάρμαρος (marmaros), perhaps related to μαρμάρεος (marmareos, “gleaming”). Much of the early classical marble came from the 'Marmaris' sea above the Aegean. The forms from French replaced Old English marma, which had previously been borrowed from Latin.