General English

  • verb to break up into small pieces, or to break something up into small pieces


  • verb (of a wicket) to disintegrate; a ‘crumbling’ wicket is one that is beginning to break up, typically towards the end of a long match in dry conditions, and its loose surface encourages spin and produces variable bounce
    Citation ‘Crumbling results either from the nature of the turf and soil or from the wear and tear of long inningses’ (Ranjitsinhji 1897)


  • A compote of fruit topped with a mixture of fat, flour and sugar, sometimes with oatflakes and/or white of egg, baked in the oven until the topping is crisp and crumbly


  • noun a generic term for old or senile people. Used since the 1980s in the expression ‘a bit of crumble’ for instance, or by nursing staff to refer contemptuously to their elderly patients.


  • noun a dessert made of fruit covered with a cake mixture of flour, fat and sugar