English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English bunche, bonche (hump, swelling), of uncertain origin.

Perhaps a variant of *bunge (compare dialectal bung (heap, grape bunch)), from Proto-Germanic *bunkō, *bunkô, *bungǭ (heap, crowd), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰenǵʰ-, *bʰéng̑ʰus (thick, dense, fat). Cognates include Saterland Frisian Bunke (bone), West Frisian bonke (bone, lump, bump), Dutch bonk (lump, bone), Low German Bunk (bone), German Bunge (tuber), Danish bunke (heap, pile), Faroese bunki (heap, pile); Hittite [Term?] (/⁠panku⁠/, total, entire), Tocharian B pkante (volume, fatness), Lithuanian búožė (knob), Ancient Greek παχύς (pakhús, thick), Sanskrit बहु (bahú, thick; much)).

Alternatively, perhaps from a variant or diminutive of bump (compare hump/hunch, lump/lunch, etc.); or from dialectal Old French bonge (bundle) (compare French bongeau, bonjeau, bonjot), from West Flemish bondje, diminutive of West Flemish bond (bundle).

Pronunciation edit

  • (file)
  • (UK) IPA(key): /bʌntʃ/, /bʌnʃ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /bʌnt͡ʃ/
  • Rhymes: -ʌntʃ

Noun edit

a bunch of grapes

bunch (plural bunches)

  1. A group of similar things, either growing together, or in a cluster or clump, usually fastened together.
    a bunch of grapes
    a bunch of bananas
    a bunch of keys
    a bunch of yobs on a street corner
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, chapter 21, in Dracula:
      When we had examined this last find, Lord Godalming and Quincey Morris taking accurate notes of the various addresses of the houses in the East and the South, took with them the keys in a great bunch, and set out to destroy the boxes in these places.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter I, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.
    • 1949 July and August, Railway Magazine, page vii, advertisement by London Transport:
      Why do we sometimes find three buses on the same route arriving together at a bus stop? What is the explanation of bunching? [] Meanwhile there are other buses following on the same route. The 600-yard interval between the second and third bus is decreased by every second's delay to the leaders, and before long the third bus has caught up. That is why buses sometimes arrive at the bus stop in bunches.
  2. (uncountable) The illegitimate supplying of laboratory animals that are act
  3. (cycling) The peloton; the main group of riders formed during a race.
  4. An informal body of friends.
    He still hangs out with the same bunch.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter VI, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      “I don't mean all of your friends—only a small proportion—which, however, connects your circle with that deadly, idle, brainless bunch—the insolent chatterers at the opera, the gorged dowagers, [], the jewelled animals whose moral code is the code of the barnyard—!"
  5. (US, informal) A considerable amount.
    a bunch of trouble
  6. (informal) An unmentioned amount; a number.
    A bunch of them went down to the field.
  7. (forestry) A group of logs tied together for skidding.
  8. (geology, mining) An unusual concentration of ore in a lode or a small, discontinuous occurrence or patch of ore in the wallrock.
    • 1874, David Page, Economic Geology: Or, Geology in Its Relations to the Arts and Manufactures:
      The ore may be disseminated throughout the matrix in minute particles, as gold in quartz; in parallel threads, strings, and plates, as with copper; in irregular pockets or bunches
  9. (textiles) The reserve yarn on the filling bobbin to allow continuous weaving between the time of indication from the midget feeler until a new bobbin is put in the shuttle.
  10. (smoking) An unfinished cigar, before the wrapper leaf is added.
    Two to four filler leaves are laid end to end and rolled into the two halves of the binder leaves, making up what is called the bunch.
  11. A protuberance; a hunch; a knob or lump; a hump.

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Verb edit

bunch (third-person singular simple present bunches, present participle bunching, simple past and past participle bunched)

  1. (transitive) To gather into a bunch.
  2. (transitive) To gather fabric into folds.
  3. (intransitive) To form a bunch.
    • 1962 October, “Talking of Trains: The collisions at Connington”, in Modern Railways, page 232:
      "Permissive" working allows more than one train to be in a block section at one time but trains must be run at low speed in order to stop on sight behind the train in front. Such working is often authorised to allow freight trains to "bunch" together to await a path through a bottleneck instead of being strung out over several block sections, as would be necessary if absolute working were in force.
  4. (intransitive) To be gathered together in folds
  5. (intransitive) To protrude or swell
    • 1729, J[ohn] Woodward, “Classis V. Corpora Coralloidea, & hisce affinia.”, in An Attempt towards a Natural History of the Fossils of England; [], tome I, London: [] F[rancis] Fayram, []; J[ohn] Senex, []; and J. Osborn and T[homas] Longman, [], →OCLC, part I (Of the Fossils that are Real and Natural: []), page 144:
      A very large ſparry Nodule externally of a brown Colour. It has ſomewhat of the reſemblance of a large Champignon before 'tis open'd, bunching out into a large round Knob at one end, the part proceeding from it being leſs, round, and not unlike a Stalk.

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