1. A small stone, especially one worn smooth by erosion.
a. Clear colorless quartz; rock crystal.
b. A lens made of such quartz.
3. Geology A rock fragment between 4 and 64 millimeters (0.16 and 2.51 inches) in diameter, especially one that has been naturally rounded.
4. An irregularly rough, grainy surface, as on leather or paper.
tr.v. peb·bled, peb·bling, peb·bles
1. To pave with pebbles.
2. To impart an irregularly rough, grainy surface to (leather or paper).
3. To pelt with pebbles.
[Middle English pobble, pibel, pebul, from Old English papol- (as in papolstān, pebblestone).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.