• synonyms


verb (used with or without object), noun Slang.
  1. mooch.
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or mouch

verb (used with object)
  1. to borrow (a small item or amount) without intending to return or repay it.
  2. to get or take without paying or at another's expense; sponge: He always mooches cigarettes.
  3. to beg.
  4. to steal.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to skulk or sneak.
  2. to loiter or wander about.
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  1. Also mooch·er. a person who mooches.
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Origin of mooch

1425–75; late Middle English, apparently variant of Middle English michen < Old French muchier to skulk, hide
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mouch

Historical Examples

  • They mouch round the walls if it's fine, like it is, and if it's raining they mouch round the Minster.

    Rich Relatives

    Compton Mackenzie

  • The word "mouch" is not often heard outside towns, for wandering beggars say "call."


    W. H. (William Henry) Davies

British Dictionary definitions for mouch


verb slang
  1. (intr often foll by around) to loiter or walk aimlessly
  2. (intr) to behave in an apathetic way
  3. (intr) to sneak or lurk; skulk
  4. (tr) to cadge
  5. (tr) mainly US and Canadian to steal
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Derived Formsmoocher, 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

Word Origin and History for mouch



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper