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mooched; mooching; mooches
intransitive : to move slowly or apathetically : to wander aimlessly
… the rainy afternoons … spent mooching up and down the aisles of small-town pharmacies and hardware stores.Frederick Busch
transitive + intransitive : to get things from another or live off the generosity of others without providing any return payment or benefit : sponge
trying to mooch a cigarette
mooching money off her brother
has been mooching off his parents for years


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plural mooches
US, informal
: one who mooches off others : moocher
The last thing he needed was another mooch … trying to sap his energy and take his time …Steve Pond

Examples of mooch in a Sentence

Verb he's always mooching off of his friends, even though he can easily pay his own way I suspect she's mooching around in the background and keeping an eye on us.
Recent Examples on the Web
Costco has made numerous efforts to stop membership mooching in recent years. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 25 Mar. 2024 In recent years, the wholesaler has made multiple efforts to ice out freeloaders who try to mooch off friends’ memberships. Angela L. Pagán / The Takeout, Quartz, 19 Mar. 2024 Also free: Go to a buddy’s house and mooch off them. Shira Ovide, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2024 Netflix may be converting mooching nieces, nephews, and ex-lovers into paying subscribers for now. WIRED, 18 Oct. 2023 After all, it can be argued that Truman Capote mooched off of those richer and more socially prominent than himself. Isiah Magsino, Town & Country, 30 June 2023 On Tuesday the streaming company warned that only people who live under the same roof can share accounts, leaving subscribers to decide whether to jettison friends and family mooching off their accounts or pony up an additional $8 monthly fee. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, 24 May 2023 Meanwhile, her brother is in the midst of a mental health crisis, two mooching boarders are taking advantage of her oblivious father, and her mother offers little emotional support. Vikram Murthi, The New Republic, 12 Apr. 2023 From the fossils alone, the researchers couldn’t prove whether these insects were pollinators or just mooching for food. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Mar. 2023
Some mooch for social gain, others for intellectual stimulation. Isiah Magsino, Town & Country, 30 June 2023 Harry recalls a particularly tense Christmas at Sandringham, marred by bitterness over the Court Circular — the annual record of the royal family’s official engagements, which inspired the press to draw conclusions each year about who was a lazy mooch and who was a workhorse. Meredith Blakestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Jan. 2023 The meek mold is more of a mooch than a menace. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 20 Oct. 2022 Don’t attack him for being a mooch. cleveland, 11 Apr. 2021 Nobody likes a mooch, but researchers in Australia have found that this parasitic plant is not all bad. Breanna Draxler, Discover Magazine, 20 Dec. 2012

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

Word History



probably from French dialect muchier to hide, lurk

First Known Use


1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1914, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mooch was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near mooch

Cite this Entry

“Mooch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to wander about
moocher noun
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