Definition of crunch in English:

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Pronunciation: /krʌn(t)ʃ/


[with object]
1Crush (a hard or brittle foodstuff) with the teeth, making a loud but muffled grinding sound: she paused to crunch a ginger biscuit
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.
munch, chew noisily, chomp, champ, bite, gnaw, masticate;
eat, devour, consume
rare chumble
1.1 [no object] Make a crunching sound, especially when walking or driving over gravel or an icy surface: footsteps began to crunch across the frozen rock the snow crunched as we walked
More example sentences
  • She slowly started to walk, the snow crunching under her feet.
  • The snow crunched as we walked along the empty sidewalk.
  • All I could hear, for half a mile, was the sound of our feet crunching on the gravel, and the gentle moos coming from the cows in the fields.
2(Especially of a computer) process (large quantities of information): the program crunches data from 14,000 sensors to decipher evolving patterns
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.


1 [usually in singular] A loud muffled grinding sound like that of something hard or brittle being crushed: 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?
moment of truth, critical point, crux, crisis, decision time, zero hour, point of no return;
2.1A severe shortage of money or credit: the agencies are facing a financial 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.
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.


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

Words that rhyme with crunch

brunch, bunch, hunch, lunch, munch, punch, scrunch

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: crunch

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