Meaning of crumb in English:


Pronunciation /krʌm/

See synonyms for crumb

Translate crumb into Spanish


  • 1A small fragment of bread, cake, or biscuit.

    ‘she brushed some cake crumbs off her dress’
    • ‘a crispy crumb topping’
    • ‘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…’
    • ‘My desk is now clear of cake crumbs, chocolate wrappers, crisp packets, coffee stains and assorted bits of paper that might or might not have had something to do with my job.’
    • ‘Whiz the bread to rough crumbs in a food processor, or grate it by hand.’
    • ‘He picked dully at the cheesecake dish, which was now empty except for a few stray crust crumbs and bits of cake smeared about, wondering idly if one could read cheesecake smears like tea leaves.’
    • ‘It looks good but when you cut into the cake it collapses into crumbs.’
    • ‘Process chocolate wafers into fine crumbs in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.’
    • ‘Crush the biscuits into a crumb texture, add the melted butter and mix together.’
    • ‘Adam licked the last few crumbs of bread from his lips.’
    • ‘I turned around, looking where Thomas had sat just a moment before but now all that remained on the chair were a couple of crumbs of bread.’
    • ‘He stood and brushed the crumbs of bread off of him, knowing well how difficult it would be to follow his own advice.’
    • ‘Wilhelm swallowed the last of the bread and dusted the crumbs from his hands.’
    • ‘They analyzed the remains of food left in tombs as offerings and the residues of beer and crumbs of bread encrusted on pottery shards and vessels.’
    • ‘In your food processor, reduce the chocolate butter cookies to crumbs.’
    • ‘Put the biscuits in a large polythene bag and smash into fine crumbs with a rolling pin, or do this in a food processor.’
    • ‘She came here in the summer to watch the Canada Geese huddle around picnickers, waiting for one of them to toss a crumb of bread.’
    • ‘The little bird sang out again, and I rose and gave it a crumb of bread from the larder chest.’
    • ‘Grind fresh whole-wheat bread in a food processor to make fresh crumbs.’
    • ‘To make the stuffing, whiz the bread in a food processor until it forms fine crumbs.’
    bit, section, slice, chunk, segment, lump, hunk
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    1. 1.1mass noun The soft inner part of a loaf of bread.
      ‘a morsel of crumb will often tempt a chub’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Vegetable oil or another type of fat is often added to bread dough to improve crumb softness, loaf volume, and texture.’
      • ‘A dusty orange color, spotted with crunchy hazelnuts and translucent golden raisins, the bread was tender and moist with a very delicate crumb.’
      • ‘We started with tremendous sourdough bread whose moist grey crumb, chewy crust and deep sustaining flavour would certainly attract compliments and loyalty even in France.’
      • ‘Simple and sophisticated, its tight, buttery crumb is scented with kirsch and shot through with soft summer berries.’
      • ‘It will allow for a greater fermentation without breaking, give more volume, and is much more desirable when you are looking for irregularity of the interior crumb.’
      • ‘Cut off the end of the loaf and remove as much crumb as you can to make a fairly snug pocket.’
      • ‘It made a deeply satisfying light meal, with a straightforward garnish of gem lettuce, fruity cherry tomatoes and a decent piece of white bread with a great crust and tasty crumb, generously drizzled with grassy olive oil.’
      • ‘Many people build earth ovens for the crisp bread crust and chewy crumb texture that only high-temperature, retained-heat ovens can provide.’
      • ‘A better way of ensuring a domed top is to use either buttermilk, yoghurt or sour milk instead of fresh: all these give a light, tender crumb and an alluring, rounded crown.’
      • ‘The texture isn't bad and there's an interesting back flavour from the paprika added to the crumb.’
      • ‘Halve ciabatta and lightly toast the crumb side. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil.’
      • ‘Perhaps adding gluten will give that smoother finer crumb I associate with what I have been told is French bread, here at the bottom of the Pacific, a long way from France.’
  • 2A very small amount of something.

    ‘the Budget provided few crumbs of comfort’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bad news for the employees who are set to endure an uncertain few weeks but a small crumb of comfort for the media who might have something to write about during the post-Christmas lull.’
    • ‘They know who has the upper hand and are afraid to speak out against this hand that provides only crumbs to them.’
    • ‘The book is all songs and vignettes, with the odd crumb of action or smidgen of spoken words.’
    • ‘Anyone watching (and trust me, there are some) will assume that I am soaking up every crumb of wisdom that falls from the speaker's lips.’
    • ‘And, of course, Thomas is going to gobble whatever crumb of a relationship that Sharon is willing to feed him.’
    • ‘Can you not look around you at all you have and, from such a position of success, take pity on those of us forced to battle each day for whatever crumb of self-respect we can muster?’
    • ‘Tanya started to say thanks but then decided against it, since she didn't mean even one pathetic crumb's worth.’
    • ‘We possess only one crumb of information about that meeting in the novelist's country house.’
    • ‘Often we are grateful for any little crumb that befalls us: some coded glance, some double entendre remark, some hinty, winking reference.’
    fragment, bit, morsel, particle, tiny piece, speck, scrap, shred, sliver, atom, grain, granule, trace, tinge, mite, iota, jot, whit, ounce, scintilla, vestige
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1crumbsAn unfair and inadequate share of something large.
      ‘a multi-billion dollar franchise and the family of the creator doesn't even get crumbs from the table’
      • ‘endless scrabbling for crumbs from the public spending table is undermining morale’
  • 3North American informal, derogatory An objectionable or contemptible person.

    • ‘he's an absolute crumb’
  • 4

    (also crumb rubber)
    mass noun Granulated rubber, usually made from recycled car tyres.

    ‘‘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.’
    • ‘The company recovers tyres from collectors and shreds them before selling the result as either lining for landfill sites or rubber crumb for all weather sports surfaces and carpet backing and underlay.’


[with object]
  • Cover (food) with breadcrumbs.

    ‘while the sweet potato is cooking, crumb the fish’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My fishcakes are not breaded or crumbed, so they absorb less fat in the pan, especially if you use a non-stick one and wipe it out with butter paper for flavour.’
    • ‘Being able to crumb a disgusting cut of meat, fry it and serve it with a foul tasting gravy and side of coleslaw doesn't mean you are number one in the culinary arts.’
    • ‘Lay fillet on absorbent paper and crumb the rest of the fish.’
    • ‘Then it was time to place our orders - three of us opting for the rump and the fourth for the spare ribs with a couple of deep-fried crumbed mushroom starters to share.’
    • ‘The entire dish was topped with crunchy bits of a crumbed bread, like panko (the Japanese breadcrumbs).’
    • ‘There was a large grilled crumbed fish which came with plenty of meat and fell apart.’
    • ‘We also ate a lot of mysterious crumbed meats accompanied with fried potatoes.’
    • ‘That's what we got although hubby's stack of moist, pan-fried, crumbed snapper fillets would have put some seafood restaurants to shame.’
    • ‘There's a tender, flattened, finely crumbed chicken milanesa plate with the same rice and plantains, and a pabellón criollo plate that adds heaps of black beans and chewy, pleasant shredded beef to the rice and plantains.’
    • ‘I recently had a Wiener Schnitzel dinner that consisted of salad, chips and two large pieces of crumbed pork.’
    • ‘When all's ready, shallow fry the crumbed pork and slice.’
    • ‘I had a steak soaked in what looked like a béarnaise sauce, smaller chunks of crumbed meat and strips of filleted fish laid along the side.’
    • ‘The chicken was nicely spicy, while the Brie, melted inside a crumbed envelope and served with a port and orange sauce, was simply delicious.’
    • ‘I'm more of a crumbed chicken with mayo and an avocado salsa kinda girl.’


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.