Definition of crunch in English:

crunch

Syllabification: crunch
Pronunciation: /krən(t)SH
 
/

verb

1 [with object] Crush (a hard or brittle foodstuff) with the teeth, making a loud but muffled grinding sound: she paused to crunch a ginger snap
More example sentences
  • Not only is popcorn crunched throughout the film, but people just talk.
  • But, as I crunched the vegetables more, my tongue was dumbfounded by a surprise flavor.
  • ‘You can't,’ the other responded, crunching her popcorn and looking at the scene intently.
Synonyms
1.1 [no object] Make a crunching sound, especially when walking or driving over gravel or an icy surface.
More example sentences
  • I step outside and crunch on snow, breathe fresh sharp air.
  • As she crunches over the frosty ground she goes through her mental checklist: breakfast for her family of six will be pancakes.
  • Crunching over the top of a ridge, we drop into a large bowl where rivulets of water gather to form a torrent that plunges into a crevasse.
1.2Strike or crush noisily: two cab drivers who had just crunched fenders
More example sentences
  • Metal on metal crunches came quietly from the ship.
  • Damien looked up surprised but didn't react fast enough to stop his bone crunching fists as they smacked straight into Jesse's nose.
  • The snowplows were out in full force, but they were ungrounded, buzzing and crawling ever closer, crunching rock salt and scraping towards me.
2Process large amounts of information or perform operations of great complexity, especially by computer: computers crunch data from real-world observations
More example sentences
  • Processor speed, while important, is only one factor in how fast a computer can crunch information.
  • I lift weights and ride a stationary bike with wires pasted to my chest, a snorkel in my mouth, and a computer crunching the numbers.
  • But benefits should arrive before computers have crunched through the planet's vast accumulation of DNA information.

noun

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1 [usually in singular] A loud muffled grinding sound made when crushing, moving over, or hitting something: Marco’s fist struck Brian’s nose with a crunch
More example sentences
  • He hit the ground with a loud thud and the crunch of pine needles.
  • Everything happened before I even had time to open my mouth and scream - the car hit us in the side doors and there was a crunch and the sound of breaking headlights.
  • The crystals are so flaky you never have to worry about it being a hard crunch when you bite down.
2 (the crunch) informal A crucial point or situation, typically one at which a decision with important consequences must be made: when it comes to the crunch, you chicken out
More example sentences
  • They spend so much time arguing about ideology that, when it comes to the crunch, decisions on important issues are often deferred.
  • But, after all, developing nations have started facing the crunch situation following the environmental degradation.
  • As to the crunch question - should he stay or should he go?
Synonyms
moment of truth, critical point, crux, crisis, decision time, zero hour, point of no return; showdown
2.1A severe shortage of money or credit: the Fed would do what it could to ease America’s credit crunch
More example sentences
  • For now, a consumer credit crunch is hardly inevitable.
  • The ‘money spigot’ is rapidly closing and many, many companies will not survive the unfolding credit crunch.
  • There is now no doubt that a major credit crunch is unfolding in the syndicated lending area.
3A physical exercise designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles; a sit-up.
More example sentences
  • A strong torso is essential to correct posture, so exercises such as crunches for the abdominals and extensions for the back muscles can be extremely helpful.
  • For people suffering from osteoporosis, abdominal crunches, situps and other common exercises that bend the spine can cause back pain or, worse yet, result in spinal fractures.
  • Not only that - but negative sit-ups can build abdominal muscles faster than crunches.

Origin

early 19th century (as a verb): variant of 17th-century cranch (probably imitative), by association with crush and munch.

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