crunch time


: a critical moment or period (as near the end of a game) when decisive action is needed

Examples of crunch time in a Sentence

The team had trained well, but at crunch time they just couldn't perform. with only three minutes left in the game, it was definitely crunch time
Recent Examples on the Web Every game in the Nuggets-Lakers series, Denver fell behind early only to creep back and execute in crunch time. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 5 May 2024 Domantas Sabonis made a go-ahead dunk with 22 seconds left, Barnes scored a career-high 39 points with back-to-back baskets in crunch time, and the Kings held off the Warriors 134-133 on Thursday night to split their season series at two games each. Janie McCauley, USA TODAY, 26 Jan. 2024 In one key moment, the kind that largely had been missing in crunch time in past matchups against the Nuggets, Paul George collected a rebound off a Nikola Jokic miss and James Harden found Kawhi Leonard for a short jumper. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 7 Dec. 2023 Then Green fouled out with 58 seconds remaining of a tie game, leaving the Warriors without their two best players in crunch time. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 8 Mar. 2024 Bolstered by analytics, teams are seemingly going for it on fourth downs and trying for two-point conversions more than ever -- and not just in crunch time. USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 Tight ends are meal tickets in crunch time A Batman always needs his Robin in a passing league. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 25 Jan. 2024 The Bills had a chance to tie the AFC divisional playoff in crunch time on Sunday night, but Tyler Bass missed on the 44-yard kick with 1:43 on the clock. USA TODAY, 22 Jan. 2024 Thompson survived the emotional toll of being benched in crunch time against the Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets and Clippers this season. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, 16 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crunch time.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1933, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crunch time was in 1933

Dictionary Entries Near crunch time

Cite this Entry

“Crunch time.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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