- to crush with the teeth; chew with a crushing noise.
- to crush or grind noisily.
- to tighten or squeeze financially: The administration's policy seems to crunch the economy in order to combat inflation.
- to chew with a crushing sound.
- to produce, or proceed with, a crushing noise.
- an act or sound of crunching.
- a shortage or reduction of something needed or wanted: the energy crunch.
- distress or depressed conditions due to such a shortage or reduction: a budget crunch.
- a critical or dangerous situation: When the crunch comes, just do your best.
- crunch numbers, Computers.
- to perform a great many numerical calculations or extensive manipulations of numerical data.
- to process a large amount of data.
Origin of crunch
- to bite or chew (crisp foods) with a crushing or crackling sound
- to make or cause to make a crisp or brittle soundthe snow crunched beneath his feet
- the sound or act of crunching
- short for abdominal crunch
- the crunch informal the critical moment or situation
- informal critical; decisivecrunch time
Word Origin and History for crunch numbers
1814, from craunch (1630s), probably of imitative origin. Related: Crunched; crunching. The noun is 1836, from the verb; the sense of "critical moment" was popularized 1939 by Winston Churchill, who had used it in his 1938 biography of Marlborough.
Idioms and Phrases with crunch numbers
Perform numerous calculations or process a large amount of numerical data. For example, Preparing John's presentation to the Federal Reserve Board required many hours of crunching numbers. This term originated with the computer age and indeed still applies mostly to the operations of computers. [Slang; second half of 1900s]