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

  • transitive v. To chew with a noisy crackling sound.
  • transitive v. To crush, grind, or tread noisily.
  • transitive v. Slang To perform operations on; manipulate or process (numerical or mathematical data).
  • intransitive v. To chew noisily with a crackling sound: crunching on celery.
  • intransitive v. To move with a crushing sound: crunching through the snow.
  • intransitive v. To produce or emit a crushing sound.
  • n. The act or sound of crunching.
  • n. A modified sit-up having a smaller range of motion that reduces back strain and strengthens the abdominal muscles: stomach crunches.
  • n. A decisive confrontation.
  • n. A critical moment or situation, especially one that occurs because of a shortage of time or resources: a year-end crunch; an energy crunch.
  • n. A period of financial difficulty characterized by tight money and unavailability of credit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to crush something with a noisy crackling sound, especially with reference to food
  • v. to be crushed with a noisy crackling sound.
  • v. to calculate or otherwise process (e.g. to crunch numbers: to perform mathematical calculations)
  • n. A noisy crackling sound; the sound usually associated with crunching.
  • n. A critical moment or event.
  • n. ) A form of abdominal exercise, based on a sit-up but in which the lower back remains in contact with the floor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To chew with force and noise; to craunch.
  • intransitive v. To grind or press with violence and noise.
  • intransitive v. To emit a grinding or craunching noise.
  • transitive v. To crush with the teeth; to chew with a grinding noise; to craunch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To crush with the teeth; chew with violence and noise: as, to crunch a biscuit; hence, to crush or grind violently and audibly in any other way.
  • To chew.
  • To act or proceed with a sound of crushing or crackling; produce a noise as from crunching anything.
  • n. The act of crunching; the act of penetrating, forcing a passage through, or pressing against anything with a crushing noise.

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

  • v. reduce to small pieces or particles by pounding or abrading
  • n. a critical situation that arises because of a shortage (as a shortage of time or money or resources)
  • n. the act of crushing
  • n. the sound of something crunching
  • v. press or grind with a crushing noise
  • v. make a crushing noise
  • v. chew noisily


Alteration of craunch, possibly of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • She saw the dying and exhausted dogs, the frost-rimed, weary men; she heard the quick _crunch, crunch, crunch_ of the snow-shoes hurrying ahead to break the trail; she felt the cruel torture of the

    Conjuror's House A Romance of the Free Forest

  • She saw the dying and exhausted dogs, the frost-rimed, weary men; she heard the quick _crunch, crunch, crunch_ of the snow-shoes hurrying ahead to break the trail; she felt the cruel torture of the _mal de raquette_, the shrivelling bite of the frost, the pain of snow blindness, the hunger that yet could not stomach the frozen fish nor the hairy, black caribou meat.

    The Call of the North

  • Then there was a _crunch, crunch, crunch_, as if pippins were being reduced to pulp, and more twigs were heard to snap.

    Glyn Severn's Schooldays

  • There was plenty of noise and bustle going on about the deck where the lanthorns burned, and the trampling of feet, and shouts that sounded like orders came now and then; but the principal sound just there by the port-hole through which the light came was the _crunch, crunch, crunch_ of the biscuit.

    The Powder Monkey

  • Dorothy: Hey … Those are for Freyr … Cammy: * crunch crunch* Delicious!

    IGN Complete

  • I made French Fries, listen to how crunchy they are ... * crunch crunch crunch* "I died laughing.

    Act Now And We'll DOUBLE The Amount!

  • The striker did get the nod for the title crunch with Chelsea but it was his first start against any of United's big-four rivals this season.


  • The shrimp tempura, despite being “made to order”, was totally soggy (the crunch is the whole reason to get it!), and while I enjoyed the “special” giant shumai, it was nearly giant enough to be worth the $1.50.

    And the Sushi Parade Marches On… to Norimaki | Midtown Lunch - Finding Lunch in the Food Wasteland of NYC's Midtown Manhattan

  • They have awaited this what one called crunch time, and I just left not too long ago.

    CNN Transcript Jul 27, 2002

  • On a recent night, we nibbled deep-fried al dente pole beans, which gave a whole new meaning to the word "crunch," to a soundtrack of water trickling into a concrete trough, and the plaintive bleating of lambs and ewes, punctuated by the sharp barks of a watchful sheepdog.

    NYT > Home Page


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  • I love this word because I can actually hear the "crunch" in my mind when people say it.

    November 5, 2009

  • I use this word to describe someone with an accessible, informal, and interesting personality. "Oh yeah, she's got crunch."

    December 6, 2006

  • I've started using this word to describe distortion-heavy garage rock a la Oblivians.

    December 3, 2006