from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A very small piece broken from a baked item, such as a cookie, cake, or bread.
  • n. A small fragment, scrap, or portion: eraser crumbs; not a crumb of kindness for you.
  • n. The soft inner portion of bread.
  • n. Slang A contemptible, untrustworthy, or loathsome person.
  • transitive v. To break into very small pieces; crumble.
  • transitive v. To cover or prepare with very small pieces of bread.
  • transitive v. To brush (a table or cloth) clear of small scraps or fragments of food.
  • intransitive v. To break apart in very small pieces: a solid cake that won't crumb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small piece which breaks off from baked food (such as cake, biscuit or bread).
  • n. A bit, small amount.
  • n. The soft internal portion of bread, surrounded by crust.
  • n. A mixture of sugar, cocoa and milk, used to make industrial chocolate.
  • n. A nobody, worthless person.
  • n. A body louse.
  • v. To cover with crumbs.
  • v. To break into crumbs or small pieces with the fingers; to crumble.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small fragment or piece; especially, a small piece of bread or other food, broken or cut off.
  • n. Fig.: A little; a bit.
  • n. The soft part of bread.
  • transitive v. To break into crumbs or small pieces with the fingers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To break into small pieces with the fingers: as, to crumb bread into milk.
  • . To crumble bread into; prepare or thicken with crumbs of bread.
  • In cookery, to cover or dress with breadcrumbs, as meat, etc.; bread.
  • Same as crump.
  • n. A morsel: specifically, a minute piece of bread or other friable food broken off, as in crumbling it; hence, a very small fragment or portion of anything.
  • n. The soft inner part of a loaf of bread or cake, as distinguished from the crust.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. break into crumbs
  • v. remove crumbs from
  • n. small piece of e.g. bread or cake
  • n. a very small quantity of something
  • v. coat with bread crumbs
  • n. a person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible


Middle English crome, from Old English cruma.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English cruma ("crumb, fragment"). The b appeared in the mid 15th century to match crumble and words like dumb, numb, thumb. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The fact that even crumbs of bread were given utmost importance speaks of condition of living in Nazi concentration camp

    August 1, 2014