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or mouch

[mooch] /mutʃ/ Slang.
verb (used with object)
to borrow (a small item or amount) without intending to return or repay it.
to get or take without paying or at another's expense; sponge:
He always mooches cigarettes.
to beg.
to steal.
verb (used without object)
to skulk or sneak.
to loiter or wander about.
Also, moocher. a person who mooches.
Origin of mooch
1425-75; late Middle English, apparently variant of Middle English michen < Old French muchier to skulk, hide Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mooch
Historical Examples
  • I have made the rule that when he gamble too mooch, when he put up too mooch money, I say 'No!'

  • It is because I am what you call too mooch a cow—a hard cow.

    The Copper Princess Kirk Munroe
  • He is not good for mooch, but he like that whittle kind of work, I know.

    Joyce's Investments Fannie E. Newberry
  • I know as mooch as you, meppy, oof I could only t'ink oof it.

    Motor Matt's Mystery Stanley R. Matthews
  • "Not as mooch as I thart it would,—and I thart it wouldn't," added Paddy pessimistically.

  • I vill save your wife und baby for you, and it vill not seem like mooch to you in de end.

    The Jungle Upton Sinclair
  • And zen zis man,' indicating Martin, 'heet me on ze head with ze steeck and hurt me mooch.'

    Pincher Martin, O.D. H. Taprell Dorling
  • "Eet ees not so ver' mooch," proceeded the factor, ignoring Al's question and quickly changing his tack regarding the ransom.

    With Sully into the Sioux Land Joseph Mills Hanson
  • He was goin' to mooch aroun' Buckin' Horse till I creeps in afoot, then we was goin' out.

    Bulldog Carney W. A. Fraser
  • Whoy, Ay'd clap thee iv a cage, and hug thee round t' feasts and fairs loike; and shew thee to t' folks at so mooch a head.

    Warwick Woodlands Henry William Herbert (AKA Frank Forester)
British Dictionary definitions for mooch


verb (slang)
(intransitive) often foll by around. to loiter or walk aimlessly
(intransitive) to behave in an apathetic way
(intransitive) to sneak or lurk; skulk
(transitive) to cadge
(transitive) (mainly US & Canadian) to steal
Derived Forms
moocher, noun
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from Old French muchier to skulk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mooch

mid-15c., "pretend poverty," probably from Old French muchier, mucier "to hide, sulk, conceal, hide away, keep out of sight," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Celtic or Germanic (Liberman prefers the latter, Klein the former). Or the word may be a variant of Middle English mucchen "to hoard, be stingy" (c.1300), probably originally "to keep coins in one's nightcap," from mucche "nightcap," from Middle Dutch muste "cap, nightcap," ultimately from Medieval Latin almucia, of unknown origin. Sense of "sponge off others" first recorded 1857.

Whatever the distant origin of mooch, the verb *mycan and its cognates have been part of European slang for at least two millennia. [Liberman]
Related: Mooched; mooching. As a noun meaning "a moocher," from 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for mooch



  1. moocher (1914+)
  2. A gullible customer; dupe; mark (1929+ Carnival)
  3. A person who listens to the pitch, but does not buy (1940s+ Carnival)
  4. A customer who painstakingly examines the merchandise before buying (1940s+ Salespersons)


  1. To beg; borrow; cadge, sponge: The geisha girls are forever mooching chocolates (1857+)
  2. To steal (1862+)
  3. To stroll; loaf along (1851+)

[fr earlier mowche, ''to pretend poverty; play truant,'' found by 1460, fr Old French muchier, ''to hide, skulk'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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