Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Extremely fierce, violent, harsh, or of great impact. There was a bone-crunching collision between the two cyclists on the road. The two teams played a bone-crunching game last night.
caught in the crunch
To have been the victim of difficult circumstances or pressures, especially financial ones and often those that are outside of one's control. Many small businesses caught in the crunch of the recession were forced to close or are barely staying open. When next year's budget is announced by the government, lower earners and public services are likely to be the ones caught in the crunch.
crunch (the) numbers
To compile, calculate, and/or analyze a large amount of numerical data, especially as relates to finance. We've been crunching the numbers for hours, and I just don't see how we'll be able to afford another child! This new computer crunches numbers faster than any of us could even dream of!
A critical period of time characterized by a heightened pressure to succeed, usually at or near the end of a given situation or undertaking. Okay, we've got two minutes to tie the game—it's crunch time, guys!
feel the crunch
To be under strain from a lack of money or resources. Many non-profits are beginning to feel the crunch from having their federal funding slashed earlier this year.
To crush or flatten something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "crunch" and "down." I crunched down the soda can and tossed it in the recycling bin.
To fracture or break someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "crunch" and "up." Of course I worry about you riding a motorcycle—people get seriously crunched up in motorcycle accidents! I crunch up some cookies and add them to the icing—that's my secret recipe.
if it comes to the crunch
If it becomes critical. Related to "crunch time," which is a critical period of time characterized by a heightened pressure to succeed, usually at or near the end of a given situation or undertaking. If it comes to the crunch, I can ask my dad for the money.
when it comes to the crunch
When it is critical. Related to "crunch time," which is a critical period of time characterized by a heightened pressure to succeed, usually at or near the end of a given situation or undertaking. Also seen as "when the crunch comes." I know we haven't always been able to rely on him, but when it comes to the crunch, he'll be there. When it comes to the crunch, you better be ready to perform.
A financial situation in which resources are limited. We're in a real budget crunch and can't afford a setback like this right now.
A financial situation in which resources are limited. We're in a real budget squeeze and can't afford a setback like this right now.
The performance of numerous complicated or protracted mathematical calculations. My new job requires a lot more number crunching than my last, but I actually quite enjoy getting to use that part of my brain so much again. I leave the number crunching to the accountants in the office.
crunch someone or something up
to break someone or something up into pieces. That machine will crunch you up. Stay away from it! A number of blows with the hammer crunched up the rocks into pebbles. Try to crunch the larger chunks up.
crunch something down
to press or crush something down, breaking it with a crunching noise. Sally crunched the flower pot down, breaking it. She crunched down the fragile glass in the box accidentally.
Perform numerous calculations or process a large amount of numerical data. For example, Preparing John's presentation to the Federal Reserve Board required many hours of crunching numbers . This term originated with the computer age and indeed still applies mostly to the operations of computers. [Slang; second half of 1900s]
A period when pressure to succeed is great, often toward the end of an undertaking. For example, It's crunch time-we only have two more days to finish. This term employs crunch in the sense of "a critical situation or test." [Slang; 1970s]
when it comes to the crunchor
if it comes to the crunch
COMMON If you talk about what you do when it comes to the crunch or what you will do if it comes to the crunch, you mean what you do or what you will do when a situation reaches a critical point. I know when it comes to the crunch, he'll support me and be there for me. If it comes to the crunch, I'll resign over this. Note: You can also say the crunch comes when a situation reaches a critical point. The crunch came when we discovered newly promoted managers were getting more money than we were. Note: You can refer to the time when an important decision has to be made as crunch time. It is crunch time for the future of the society, which is absolutely in policyholders' hands. Note: `Crunch' is the sound used to imitate the sound of something hard being crushed, broken or eaten.
crunch the numbers
If you crunch numbers or crunch the numbers, you do calculations with numbers. The computer crunched numbers for a month to calculate how each of 100,000 stars moves over time. They don't have enough analysts to crunch the numbers. Note: The activity of doing this is called number crunching. Now the number crunching begins and deals will be made.
when (or if) it comes to the crunchwhen (or if) a point is reached or an event occurs such that immediate and decisive action is required. informal
if/when it comes to the ˈcrunch(informal) if/when the moment comes when something must be decided or done, or a difficulty can no longer be avoided: She was always threatening to leave him, but when it came to the crunch she didn’t have the courage.
it’s ˈcrunch time(informal) it is the moment when something must be decided or done, or a difficulty can no longer be avoided: It’s crunch time for him. Either he makes a move now or gives up any hope of winning power.
budget squeezeand budget crunch
n. a situation where there is not enough money in the budget. Facing another budget squeeze, the legislators were forced to put off their pay increase. If it wasn’t for the budget crunch, I’d get a good raise this year.
See budget squeeze
n. a crisis; a time of pressure or tightness, especially of a budget. The budget crunch meant that we couldn’t take trips to Europe anymore.
n. using a computer to solve enormously complicated or complex mathematical problems. I don’t do a lot of number crunching, so I don’t need a terribly fast machine.