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The Collaborative International Dictionary

marbles \marbles\ n. A children's game played with marbles[3], little balls made of a hard substance (as glass).

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

children's game, from plural of marble (n.); first recorded by that name in 1709 but probably older (it was known in 13c. German as tribekugeln) and originally played with small balls of polished marble or alabaster, later clay; the modern glass ones with the colored swirl date from 1840s.\n

\nMeaning "mental faculties, common sense" is from 1927, American English slang, perhaps [OED] from earlier slang marbles "furniture, personal effects, 'the goods' " (1864, Hotten), a corrupt translation of French meubles (plural) "furniture" (see furniture).


n. 1 (plural of marble English) 2 (context plural only English) Any of several children's games played with small glass balls. 3 (context plural only usually in a limited number of expressions English) sanity. vb. (en-third-person singular of: marble)

  1. n. a children's game played with little balls made of a hard substance (as glass)

  2. the basic human power of intelligent thought and perception; "he used his wits to get ahead"; "I was scared out of my wits"; "he still had all his marbles and was in full possession of a lively mind" [syn: wits]

Marbles (album)

Marbles is the 13th studio album from rock band Marillion, released in 2004. Unlike their previous studio album, Anoraknophobia (2001), which was financed largely by a preorder campaign, it was the publicity campaign that fans financed for the album. Those fans who pre-ordered the album received an exclusive 2-CD "Deluxe Campaign Edition" with a booklet containing the names of everyone who pre-ordered before a certain date. The public release date of the retail single-CD version of the album was 3 May 2004 while a plain 2CD version could still be obtained from the band's website. A limited (500 copy) edition was released on white multicoloured vinyl by Racket Records on 13 November 2006.

The album did not chart in the UK, due to it being packaged with a couple of stickers, which is against chart rules, so despite selling enough for a top 30 position, the album was declared ineligible for the album chart, however its first single " You're Gone" reached #7 in the UK Singles Chart, thus becoming their first UK top ten hit since 1987's " Incommunicado". The follow-up single "Don't Hurt Yourself" peaked at #16. Classic Rock ranked Marbles #11 on their end-of-year list for 2004.

Marbles (band)

Marbles is the solo recording project of The Apples in Stereo singer and chief songwriter Robert Schneider. The project started out in 1993 when Schneider would record his various musical endeavors on cassette for various people he knew, but was somewhat abandoned as the Apples got off the ground. He would later compile some of the songs, many of which featuring backing vocals from Will Cullen Hart of The Olivia Tremor Control, and release them officially in 1997 as an album named Pyramid Landing (And Other Favorites).

Schneider appeared to have largely abandoned the moniker by 2000, releasing sporadic singles and contributing to a compilation. This changed when spinART released the second Marbles full length, titled Expo in January 2005.

In concert, Marbles is one of the more disorienting of the Elephant 6 bands. Most recently, touring with Of Montreal, Schneider appeared as Marbles dressed in goggles and a sequin jacket, backed by cardboard cutouts of Darth Vader and a robot, adorned with fake instruments, and a CD player supplying all but his lead vocals.

Usage examples of "marbles".

Father, the next shipment of your marbles for the tomb are on the way.

Piccolomini statues he was carving marbles in which he had no genuine interest.

In this front line of buildings Donatello, Della Robbia and Orcagna had carved their marbles, had cast their bronze pieces in the Opera furnaces.

Bugiardini borrowed one of Ghirlandaio's carts, came to the Buonarroti house, helped him wrap and carry the marbles down the stairs.

Suppose when I finish the cardinal says, 'I have seen better marbles in Rome.

The drawings would have to be approved by the cardinal, and the marbles recarved if the final pieces did not please His Grace.

We believe that great commissions for frescoes, for mosaics, for bronzes and marbles will be forthcoming for all our artists.

I need a huge studio to handle these marbles, with a thirty-foot roof, and a large outdoor paved court.

The Holy Father wants you to carve as many heroic marbles as you can conceive: ten, twenty, thirty!

You'll be the first sculptor to have that many sculptured marbles in one place since Phidias did the frieze on the Parthenon.

He had spent the Pope's entire thousand ducats for marbles and shipping, but Julius refused to give him more money until he had seen one of the statues carved.

The Guffatti sons came with the family wagon to carry the marbles to the rear portico of the house.

On the last day of January, surrounded by his wet and stained marbles, he sat down at the plank table and wrote his father a letter, enclosing a note to Argiento, which he asked Lodovico to send on to the farm at Ferrara, where Argiento had gone when the Signoria reclaimed Michelangelo's house until he could resume work for them.

Michelangelo would have to make payment at the docks before the marbles could be released.

Sangallo wrote that my second shipload of marbles has been lying exposed in the Piazza San Pietro.