- (slang) A critical period of time during which it is necessary to work hard and fast
2000, Paul Theroux, Sir Vidia's shadow: a friendship across five continents, page 61:
- Tough-minded, Vidia reacted in much the same way as he had in Uganda. Whenever he met Indians in Kenya, he challenged them, demanding to know their backup plans in case of trouble. He called it "crunch time." "Very well then," he [V. S. Naipaul] would say after the first pleasantries, "what are you going to do when crunch time comes?
- (basketball) The last few minutes of play in the fourth quarter