Definition of crunch in English:


Syllabification: crunch
Pronunciation: /krənCH


  • 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.
    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.


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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?
    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.


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

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