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crumble (v.)

late 15c., kremelen, "to break into small fragments" (transitive), from Old English *crymelan, presumed frequentative of gecrymman "to break into crumbs," from cruma (see crumb). Intransitive sense of "fall into small pieces" is from 1570s.

The -b- is from 16c., probably on analogy of crumb (where it also is an unetymological intrusion) or of French-derived words like humble, where it belongs. Related: Crumbled; crumbling. Old English gecrymman yielded Middle English crimen "to crumble" (transitive).

As a noun, from 1570s as "a fragment," from 1947 in cookery as "food in the form of crumbs."