A "crunch" can be a sound or a type of action. Something is pressed together, smashed, walked on, eaten, pushed, or hit:

  • Walking on dry leaves creates a crunching sound.
  • When you eat potato chips, there’s a crunch as your mouth closes down on the chips.
  • Crackers crunch when they are eaten.
  • Ice and snow crunch when walked upon.
  • Many people like to eat a bowl of cereal in the morning. Many cereals crunch when eaten. The cereal is crunchy.

bowl of cereal a bowl of corn flakes

"Crunchy" is the adjective form of the word "crunch."

  • I won’t eat potato chips if they aren’t crunchy.
  • When grass dries up, it becomes brown and crunchy.
  • Leaves are crunchy after they have dried.
  • Crackers are crunchy. If they aren’t, they’re stale.
  • There’s nothing better than a hard, crunchy apple.

The word "crunch" is also used when talking about a lack of time or when working with money. This is a type of slang:

  • We’re going to face a time crunch at the end of the day. (We don’t have enough time.)
  • We’re really crunched for time.
  • This is crunch time. This project has to be finished by tomorrow. (crunch time = nearing a deadline)
  • Our accountants are crunching some numbers in order to make the new budget work. (crunch numbers = calculate)

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This page was first published on June 14, 2012. It was updated on February 3, 2016.