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Attested since about 1800. Probably an intensive form of crunch; ultimately derived from the onomatopoeia of a crumpling sound; or perhaps a blend of squeeze +‎ crunch.



scrunch (third-person singular simple present scrunches, present participle scrunching, simple past and past participle scrunched)

  1. (transitive) To crumple and squeeze to make more compact.
    He scrunched the paper into a ball and threw it at the whistling girl.
    • 1793–1799, Robert Townson, Tracts and Observations in Natural History and Physiology, page 154:
      [] and the scrunching of ashes under our feet I have often observed to be disagreeable to many.
    • 1800, Walter Besant, James Rice, With Harp and Crown, page 828:
      Then I put them under my heel, and scrunched them up, every one.
    1. (with object "one's face") To contract the muscles of one's face so as to draw their facial features together, out of pain, discomfort, uncertainty, etc.
      He scrunched his face at his wife's request.
  2. Alternative form of scranch


See also[edit]


scrunch (plural scrunches)

  1. A crunching noise.


Further reading[edit]

  • scrunch” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.