1TB [intransitive]also crumble awayif something, especially something made of stone or rock, is crumbling, small pieces are breaking off it:
The old stonework was crumbling away.
crumbling colonial buildings
2 [intransitive and transitive]to break apart into lots of little pieces, or make something do this:
The fall leaves crumbled in my fingers.
¼ cup crumbled goat's cheese
3 [intransitive]also crumble awayPto lose power, become weak, or fail:
The Empire began to crumble during the 13th century.
our crumbling economy
➔ that's the way the cookie crumbles
at cookie (3)WORD FOCUS: break WORD FOCUS: break smashwith a lot of force shatterinto many pieces split into two pieces snapinto two pieces, with a sudden loud noise tearpaper/cloth burstpipe/tyre/balloon crumblebreak into a lot of small pieces disintegratebreak into a lot of small pieces and be destroyed fractureif a bone fractures or you fracture it, it breaks slightly so that a small line appears on the surface ➔ See alsobreak
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.