from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To obtain or try to obtain by begging; cadge. synonym: cadge.
  • intransitive verb To steal; filch.
  • intransitive verb To get or try to get something free of charge; sponge.
  • intransitive verb To wander about aimlessly.
  • intransitive verb To skulk around; sneak.
  • noun One who begs or cadges; a sponge.
  • noun A dupe, as in a confidence game.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • See mouch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb to ask for and get free; to borrow without intending to repay; to sponge; -- usually with objects of small value.
  • transitive verb To beg for.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb UK To wander around aimlessly, often causing irritation to others.
  • verb To beg, cadge, or sponge; to exploit or take advantage of others for personal gain.
  • verb UK To steal or filch.
  • noun One who mooches; a moocher.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb ask for and get free; be a parasite
  • noun someone who mooches or cadges (tries to get something free)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English mowchen, probably from Old French muchier, to hide, skulk.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English moochen, mouchen, michen ("to pretend poverty"), from Old French muchier, mucier, mucer ("to skulk, hide, conceal"), from Old Frankish *mukjan ("to hide, conceal oneself"), from Proto-Germanic *mukjanan, *mukōnan (“to hide, ambush”), from Proto-Indo-European *meug-, *meuk- (“to slip, slide”). Cognate with Old High German mūhhōn ("to store, cache, plunder"), Middle High German muchen, mucken ("to hide, stash").


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