English Wikipedia has articles on:


From earlier craunch, cranch, of imitative origin.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /kɹʌntʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌntʃ


crunch (third-person singular simple present crunches, present participle crunching, simple past and past participle crunched)

  1. To crush something, especially food, with a noisy crackling sound.
    When I came home, Susan was watching TV with her feet up on the couch, crunching a piece of celery.
  2. To be crushed with a noisy crackling sound.
    Beetles crunched beneath the men's heavy boots as they worked.
  3. (slang) To calculate or otherwise process (e.g. to crunch numbers: to perform mathematical calculations). Presumably from the sound made by mechanical calculators.
    That metadata makes it much easier for the search engine to crunch the data for queries.
  4. To grind or press with violence and noise.
    • 1854, E.K. Kane, “The United States Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin: a personal Narrative”, in The Living Age[1], page 517:
      The sound of our vessel crunching her way through the new ice is not easy to be described.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The departure was not unduly prolonged. [] Within the door Mrs. Spoker hastily imparted to Mrs. Love a few final sentiments on the subject of Divine Intention in the disposition of buckets; farewells and last commiserations; a deep, guttural instigation to the horse; and the wheels of the waggonette crunched heavily away into obscurity.
  5. To emit a grinding or crunching noise.
    • 1849, Henry James, Confidence
      There were sounds in the air above his head – sounds of the crunching and rattling of the loose, smooth stones as his neighbors moved about []
  6. (automotive, transitive) To cause the gears to emit a crunching sound by releasing the clutch before the gears are properly synchronised.
  7. (computing, transitive) To compress (data) using a particular algorithm, so that it can be restored by decrunching.
    • 1993, "Michael Barsoom", [comp.sys.amiga.announce] PackIt Announcement (on newsgroup comp.archives)
      PackIt will not crunch executables, unless told to do so.
  8. (software engineering, slang, transitive) To make employees work overtime in order to meet a deadline in the development of a project.

Derived termsEdit



crunch (plural crunches)

  1. A noisy crackling sound; the sound usually associated with crunching.
  2. A critical moment or event.
    • 1985, John C. L. Gibson, Job (page 237)
      The friends, on the contrary, argue that Job does not "know", that only God knows; yet, when it comes to the crunch, they themselves seem to know as much as God knows: for example, that Job is a guilty sinner.
  3. A problem that leads to a crisis.
    • 1994, Martin H. Wolfson, Financial Crises: Understanding the Postwar U.S. Experience[2], page 22:
      The crunch is characterized by extremely depressed liquidity and deteriorated balance sheet positions for households, corporations, and financial institutions []
  4. (exercise) A form of abdominal exercise, based on a sit-up but in which the lower back remains in contact with the floor.
  5. (software engineering, slang) The overtime work required to catch up and finish a project, usually in the final weeks of development before release.
  6. A dessert consisting of a crunchy topping with fruit underneath.
    Synonyms: crisp, crumble
  7. (chiefly US) The symbol #.
  8. (cooking, generally in the plural) A small piece created by crushing; a piece of material with a friable or crunchy texture.
    • 2014 December 18, “Fluffernutter and Nutella Yule Log”, in The Lovely Crazy[3]:
      Smear the peanut butter, fluff, and a bit of the nutella all over, even to the very edge of the wrap. Sprinkle the crunches on top and then start rolling from one of the non-trimmed edges
  9. (slang) A shortage.
    • 2021 April 22, “Covid: India sets global record for new cases amid oxygen shortage”, in BBC News[4]:
      But a supply crunch, which is already affecting the drive, could slow it down further.



Coordinate termsEdit

Derived termsEdit




crunch m (plural crunches)

  1. crunch (exercise)