crunch time


Definition of crunch time 

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The campaign has been mostly saving its money for crunch time, spending less than $35,000 in August, including $26,500 for a poll. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle property-tax levy to test voters’ generosity toward education," 15 Oct. 2018 This is crunch time for gift buying, party going, decorating, and making sure that travel arrangements are in order (while worrying about the weather forecast, too). Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This Video of Shalom Harlow Dancing for Donatella Versace Is Everything," 17 Dec. 2018 The Cardiac Cougars waited until crunch time again Sunday. Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle, "UH records comeback win over Purdue to remain alive in NCAA Tournament," 3 June 2018 Ohio City Farm, Cleveland's six-acre agricultural marvel in the dense, urban West Side Market neighborhood, hit crunch time this year. Debbi Snook,, "Cleveland's Ohio City Farm faces losses, adds resources, opens doors (photos)," 14 Mar. 2018 Santiago is one of those players who never shies away from the big-time moment and always saves his best for crunch time. Shelby Dermer,, "Hughes' Santiago on making Puerto Rico's team: 'It's a blessing to play for your country'," 6 June 2018 Gillen said that Final Four teams generally share some of the same characteristics, including a go-to player (or players) at crunch time, defense and depth. Tom Groeschen,, "Cincinnati Bearcats could be Final Four team, according to former Xavier coach Pete Gillen," 31 Jan. 2018 In crunch time, for example, LeBron thrives on the ball. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "LaVar Ball says that Lonzo won't play off the ball with LeBron James," 3 July 2018 It's called the Elam Ending, named after Mensa member and Ball State professor Nick Elam who came up with the idea to help continue the flow of games in crunch time. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "If you think the last few minutes of basketball games take forever, The Basketball Tournament is here to help," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crunch time.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of crunch time

1976, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crunch time

Share crunch time

Statistics for crunch time

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crunch time

The first known use of crunch time was in 1976

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for crunch time

crunch time


English Language Learners Definition of crunch time

: the most important time in a game, event, etc. : a critical moment

More from Merriam-Webster on crunch time

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crunch time

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crunch time

Comments on crunch time

What made you want to look up crunch time? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving abstract or general statements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!