crumble away

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crumble away

To come apart in pieces. We need to get this wall repaired—the drywall is just crumbling away.
See also: away, crumble
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

crumble away

to break away in little pieces. The marble pillar was crumbling away because of the acidic rain. One of my teeth is just crumbling away.
See also: away, crumble
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
We have only the written words of those who have gone before, to show us the cities and the empires that have been, to teach us the reasons why they decayed and crumbled away. We have only our own imagination to help us to look forward into the future and see the empires that may rise, the kingdoms that shall stand, the kingdoms that shall fall.
The Wall Street* group turned the stock market into a maelstrom where the values of all the land crumbled away almost to nothingness.
As we approached the Shimerdas' dwelling, I could still see nothing but rough red hillocks, and draws with shelving banks and long roots hanging out where the earth had crumbled away. Presently, against one of those banks, I saw a sort of shed, thatched with the same wine-coloured grass that grew everywhere.
The wall crumbled away beneath his hand, the roof fell in, and three men and an old woman were stifled."
Although the heat was so intense that the paint on the houses over against the prison, parched and crackled up, and swelling into boils, as it were from excess of torture, broke and crumbled away; although the glass fell from the window-sashes, and the lead and iron on the roofs blistered the incautious hand that touched them, and the sparrows in the eaves took wing, and rendered giddy by the smoke, fell fluttering down upon the blazing pile; still the fire was tended unceasingly by busy hands, and round it, men were going always.
It was a very aged, ghostly place; the church had been built many hundreds of years ago, and had once had a convent or monastery attached; for arches in ruins, remains of oriel windows, and fragments of blackened walls, were yet standing-, while other portions of the old building, which had crumbled away and fallen down, were mingled with the churchyard earth and overgrown with grass, as if they too claimed a burying-place and sought to mix their ashes with the dust of men.
By dint of hard scrambling he finally straddled the top, but some loose stones crumbled away and fell with a crash into the court within.
The government crumbled away. Decrees and proclamations were useless when the men who made them and signed them one moment were dead the next.
So the honest, brown cookies crumbled away in obscurity, while Polly tried to satisfy her hearty appetite on one ice and three macaroons.
He essayed a step from the pit's edge, and as he threw the weight of his body upon his left foot, the earth crumbled away. Tarzan made a single Herculean effort to throw himself forward, but it was too late.
In the morning he stole a march on the sun, for he had finished breakfast when its first rays caught him, and he was climbing the wall of the canyon where it crumbled away and gave footing.
Further concerns are now being raised after several large cracks appeared in the tarmac next to where it had crumbled away.
Brickwork appears to have crumbled away, while facias and interior wall construction has collapsed.
Our key industries of coal, steel and shipbuilding crumbled away almost to nothing.
So any pigments in dino eggs might not have crumbled away completely over time, Wiemann says.