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crunch

[kruhnch]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to crush with the teeth; chew with a crushing noise.
  2. to crush or grind noisily.
  3. to tighten or squeeze financially: The administration's policy seems to crunch the economy in order to combat inflation.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to chew with a crushing sound.
  2. to produce, or proceed with, a crushing noise.
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noun
  1. an act or sound of crunching.
  2. a shortage or reduction of something needed or wanted: the energy crunch.
  3. distress or depressed conditions due to such a shortage or reduction: a budget crunch.
  4. a critical or dangerous situation: When the crunch comes, just do your best.
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Idioms
  1. crunch numbers, Computers.
    1. to perform a great many numerical calculations or extensive manipulations of numerical data.
    2. to process a large amount of data.
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Also craunch.

Origin of crunch

1795–1805; blend of craunch and crush
Related formscrunch·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for crunching

crunch

verb
  1. to bite or chew (crisp foods) with a crushing or crackling sound
  2. to make or cause to make a crisp or brittle soundthe snow crunched beneath his feet
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noun
  1. the sound or act of crunching
  2. short for abdominal crunch
  3. the crunch informal the critical moment or situation
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adjective
  1. informal critical; decisivecrunch time
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Also called: craunch
Derived Formscrunchable, adjectivecrunchy, adjectivecrunchily, adverbcrunchiness, noun

Word Origin

C19: changed (through influence of munch) from earlier craunch, of imitative origin
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

Word Origin and History for crunching

crunch

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper