crunch

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bone-crunching

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.
See also: caught, 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!
See also: crunch, number

crunch time

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!
See also: crunch, time

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.
See also: crunch, feel

crunch down

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.
See also: crunch, down

crunch up

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.
See also: crunch, up

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.
See also: come, crunch, if

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.
See also: come, crunch

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.
See also: crunch, 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.
See also: crunch, down

crunch numbers

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]
See also: crunch, number

crunch time

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]
See also: crunch, time

when it comes to the crunch

or

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.
See also: come, crunch

crunch numbers

or

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.
See also: crunch, number

budget squeeze

and 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 also: budget, squeeze

budget crunch

verb
See also: budget, crunch

crunch

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.

number crunching

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.
See also: crunch, number
References in classic literature ?
There were four newly hatched chicks, a day old - little specks of pulsating life no more than a mouthful; and he ate them ravenously, thrusting them alive into his mouth and crunching them like egg- shells between his teeth.
With palpitating heart the woman stood, scarce daring to breathe, and then, very faintly but unmistakable to her keen ears, came the stealthy crunching of twigs and grasses beneath padded feet.
The only sound to be heard was the crunching of the dead leaves beneath our feet.
They felt the jerk as their brakes were hastily applied, the swaying of the little train, and then the crunching of earth beneath them, the roar of escaping steam as their engine ploughed its way on into the road bed.
Anna was upstairs, standing before the looking glass, and, with Annushka's assistance, pinning the last ribbon on her gown when she heard carriage wheels crunching the gravel at the entrance.
The river was full of floating blocks of ice, which were constantly crunching and cracking under us; and the depth of water, in the course we took to avoid the larger masses, carried down the middle of the river by the current, did not exceed a few inches.
If you knew how this chap, this Joseph Willet--that's his name--comes backwards and forwards to our house, libelling, and denouncing, and threatening you, and how I shudder when I hear him, you'd hate him worse than I do,-- worse than I do, sir,' said Mr Tappertit wildly, putting his hair up straighter, and making a crunching noise with his teeth; 'if sich a thing is possible.