—n. 1. metamorphosed limestone, consisting chiefly of recrystallized calcite or dolomite, capable of taking a high polish, occurring in a wide range of colors and variegations and used in sculpture and architecture.
2. any variety of this stone: Carrara marble. 3. an object made of or carved from this stone, esp. a sculpture: Renaissance marbles. 4. a piece of this stone: the fallen marbles of Roman ruins. 5. (not in technical use) any of various breccias or other stones that take a high polish and show a variegated pattern.
6. a marbled appearance or pattern; marbling: The woodwork had a greenish marble. 7. anything resembling marble in hardness, coldness, smoothness, etc.: a brow of marble. 8. something lacking in warmth or feeling.
9. a little ball made of stone, baked clay, glass, porcelain, agate, or steel, esp. for use in games.
10. marbles,(used with a sing. v.) a game for children in which a marble is propelled by the thumb to hit another marble so as to drive it out of a circle drawn or scratched on the ground.
11. marbles,Slang.normal rational faculties; sanity; wits; common sense: to have all one's marbles; to lose one's marbles.
—adj. 1. consisting or made of marble.
2. like marble, as in hardness, coldness, smoothness, etc.
3. lacking in warmth, compassion, or sympathy: marble heart. 4. of variegated or mottled color.
—v.t. 1. to color or stain like variegated marble.
2. to apply a decorative pattern to (paper, the edges of a book, etc.) by transferring oil pigments floating on water.
Pronunciation: (mär'bul),[key] —n. Alice, 1913–90, U.S. tennis player.