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From earlier craunch, cranch, of imitative origin.



crunch (third-person singular simple present crunches, present participle crunching, simple past and past participle crunched)

  1. To crush something, especially food, with a noisy crackling sound.
    When I came home, Susan was watching TV with her feet up on the couch, crunching a piece of celery.
    • Lord Byron (1788-1824)
      Their white tusks crunched o'er the whiter skull.
  2. To be crushed with a noisy crackling sound.
    Beetles crunched beneath the men's heavy boots as they worked.
  3. (slang) To calculate or otherwise process (e.g. to crunch numbers: to perform mathematical calculations).
    That metadata makes it much easier for the search engine to crunch the data for queries.
  4. To grind or press with violence and noise.
    • Kane
      The ship crunched through the ice.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The departure was not unduly prolonged. [] Within the door Mrs. Spoker hastily imparted to Mrs. Love a few final sentiments on the subject of Divine Intention in the disposition of buckets; farewells and last commiserations; a deep, guttural instigation to the horse; and the wheels of the waggonette crunched heavily away into obscurity.
  5. To emit a grinding or crunching noise.
    • 1849, Henry James, Confidence
      There were sounds in the air above his head – sounds of the crunching and rattling of the loose, smooth stones as his neighbors moved about []
  6. (computing, transitive) To compress (data) using a particular algorithm, so that it can be restored by decrunching.
    • 1993, "Michael Barsoom", [comp.sys.amiga.announce] PackIt Announcement (on newsgroup comp.archives)
      PackIt will not crunch executables, unless told to do so.



crunch (plural crunches)

  1. A noisy crackling sound; the sound usually associated with crunching.
  2. A critical moment or event.
    • 1985, John C. L. Gibson, Job (page 237)
      The friends, on the contrary, argue that Job does not "know", that only God knows; yet, when it comes to the crunch, they themselves seem to know as much as God knows: for example, that Job is a guilty sinner.
  3. (exercise (sport)) A form of abdominal exercise, based on a sit-up but in which the lower back remains in contact with the floor.

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crunch m (plural crunches)

  1. crunch (exercise)