Definition of crunch in English:

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Pronunciation: /krən(t)SH/


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.
1.1 [no object] Make a crunching sound, especially when walking or driving over gravel or an icy surface.
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.
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.


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?
moment of truth, critical point, crux, crisis, decision time, zero hour, point of no return;
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.
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

Syllabification: crunch

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