Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French marbre, from Latin marmor, from Greek marmaros
Date: 12th century
a. limestone that is more or less crystallized by metamorphism, that ranges from granular to compact in texture, that is capable of taking a high polish, and that is used especially in architecture and sculpture
b. something (as a piece of sculpture) composed of or made from marble
c. something suggesting marble (as in hardness, coldness, or smoothness) <a heart of marble> 2. a. a little ball made of a hard substance (as glass) and used in various games b. plural but singular in construction any of several games played with these little balls c. plural the rewards to be won in competition especially for a championship — used in the phrase all the marbles <a game being played for all the marbles> 3. marbling 4. plural elements of common sense; especially sanity <persons who are born without all their marbles — Arthur Miller> • marble adjective II. transitive verb (marbled; marbling) Date: 1675 to give a veined or mottled appearance to <marble the edges of a book>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.