v. crunched, crunch·ing, crunch·es
1. To chew with a noisy crackling sound.
2. To crush, grind, or tread noisily.
3. Slang To perform operations on; manipulate or process (numerical or mathematical data).
1. To chew noisily with a crackling sound: crunching on celery.
2. To move with a crushing sound: crunching through the snow.
3. To produce or emit a crushing sound.
1. The act or sound of crunching.
2. A modified sit-up having a smaller range of motion that reduces back strain and strengthens the abdominal muscles: stomach crunches.
a. A decisive confrontation.
b. A critical moment or situation, especially one that occurs because of a shortage of time or resources: a year-end crunch; an energy crunch.
c. A period of financial difficulty characterized by tight money and unavailability of credit.
[Alteration of craunch, possibly of imitative origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.