\ ˈkrənch How to pronounce crunch (audio) \
crunched; crunching; crunches

Definition of crunch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to chew or press with a crushing noise
2 : to make one's way with a crushing noise

transitive verb

1 : to chew, press, or grind with a crunching sound
2 : process especially : to perform mathematical computations on crunch numbers



Definition of crunch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of crunching
2 : a sound made by crunching
3 : a tight or critical situation: such as
a : a critical point in the buildup of pressure between opposing elements : showdown
b : a severe economic squeeze (as on credit)
c : shortage an energy crunch
4 : a conditioning exercise performed from a supine position by raising and lowering the upper torso without reaching a sitting position

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Other Words from crunch


crunchable \ ˈkrən-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce crunchable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of crunch in a Sentence

Verb We could hear the truck's tires crunching along the gravel road. When she crunched the numbers, she found that the business's profits were actually much lower than the company had said. Noun the crunch of someone eating a carrot We could hear the crunch of the truck's tires on the gravel road. The crunch came when the computer stopped working.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Financial Times economics editor Chris Giles, who has been crunching numbers, puts Britain's current total at 53,800. Author: William Booth, Karla Adam, Anchorage Daily News, "Britain surpasses Italy with most reported coronavirus deaths in Europe," 5 May 2020 Financial Times economics editor Chris Giles, who has been crunching numbers, puts Britain’s current total at . Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Britain surpasses Italy with most reported coronavirus deaths in Europe," 5 May 2020 Jha and the institute’s Ben Jacobson crunched the numbers two ways for each state. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Many states are far short of Covid-19 testing levels needed for safe reopening, new analysis shows," 27 Apr. 2020 The researchers also crunched some numbers to find out how much money sewage sampling could save in the U.S. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "Poop could be the key to tracking COVID-19 outbreaks," 27 Apr. 2020 The election forecasters and polling gurus might consider crunching the numbers on the likelihood that people will die. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "Why Is Wisconsin Holding an Election During the Coronavirus Pandemic?," 7 Apr. 2020 Music professor Stan Renard and marketing professor Richard Gretz at the University of Texas at San Antonio crunched the numbers of 81 major artists, including Prince, David Bowie and Tom Petty, who died between 2015 and 2017. René A. Guzman,, "San Antonio UTSA professors find that rock stars’ sales boost after death continues for years," 6 Feb. 2020 For years, Inan has been crunching numbers using a basic calculator and a pad of paper to find unique patterns in dates. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Sunday's date is a rare palindrome that hasn't happened in over 900 years," 1 Feb. 2020 Then one does one’s homework, crunching the relevant numbers to show the scope and nature of that problem. Daniel E. Burns, National Review, "The Charitable-Giving Deduction Needs to Be Fixed," 23 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There's no crunch from the gears of a school bus that's seen better days, nor the deepening whine of a jet's engine overhead as the pilot approaches Washington National airport. Stephen Collinson And Shasta Darlington, CNN, "How long can we live under lockdown?," 21 Apr. 2020 The result is a sweet and salty (those peanuts!) crunch that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Rachel Karten, Bon Appétit, "Don’t Be Intimidated By This Sky-High Banana Cream Pie," 1 Nov. 2019 But Dafoe and Pattinson have the stage pretty much to themselves, and the result is a beguiling crunch of styles. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“The Lighthouse” Is Salted with Madness," 18 Oct. 2019 The experience of eating it is half crunch, half suppleness, all salt and fat; a juggernaut of pleasure. Los Angeles Times, "In Lakewood, our critic considers burnt cheese tacos and carne asada mac ’n’ cheese," 2 Oct. 2019 One possibility might be a crunch in the online advertising market, on which some of the biggest tech firms are highly reliant. The Economist, "For how long can today’s global economic expansion last?," 12 July 2019 Featuring bite-sized calamari, scallops and rock shrimp, the seafood itself was cooked properly, however, the breading was too thick and lacked crunch. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "At pricey East End Italian restaurant, you may be paying more for the experience than food," 26 June 2019 There's also the time crunch, the red lights and the chime that'll tell them their time to talk is up. CBS News, "Democratic debate: Candidates kick off first night of primary debates — live updates," 26 June 2019 Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw has declared himself 'pre-season ready' ahead of what will be a crunch 2018/19 campaign for the 22-year-old by sharing a training snap on Instagram showing off a 'trim and muscular' figure., "PHOTO: Luke Shaw Posts Topless Snap on Instagram in Bid to Shut Up Fat-Shaming Naysayers," 6 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of crunch


1706, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crunch


alteration of craunch

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Time Traveler for crunch

Time Traveler

The first known use of crunch was in 1706

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Statistics for crunch

Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crunch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for crunch


How to pronounce crunch (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crunch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make the loud sound of something being crushed
: to move along a surface that makes the loud sound of something being crushed
: to process (numbers, information, etc.) : to examine and analyze (numbers, information, etc.)



English Language Learners Definition of crunch (Entry 2 of 2)

: the sound made when something hard is being chewed or crushed : a crunching sound
: the quality of a food that produces a loud sound when it is chewed : a crunchy quality
: a very difficult point or situation


\ ˈkrənch How to pronounce crunch (audio) \
crunched; crunching

Kids Definition of crunch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to chew or grind with a crushing noise He is crunching on hard candy.
2 : to make the sound of being crushed or squeezed The snow crunched underfoot.



Kids Definition of crunch (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or sound of crushing She bit into the apple with a loud crunch.

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More from Merriam-Webster on crunch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crunch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crunch

Spanish Central: Translation of crunch

Nglish: Translation of crunch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crunch for Arabic Speakers

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