Intermediate+ Word of the Day: munch

munch (verb, noun) /mʌntʃ/ LISTEN

A woman munching on a cookie

To munch means ‘to chew making a loud noise’ or ‘to chew steadily and strongly.’ As a noun, munch is the act of munching or, informally, a small snack.

Example sentences

  • At the movie theater, Melanie was annoyed that she could hardly hear the film because of all the people munching popcorn around her.
  • The old man sat on a wall, munching on a sandwich.
  • The little girl complained she was hungry, so her dad took an apple out of his bag. "Have a munch on that," he told her.

Additional information

As a verb munch can be used with a direct object, so you can munch popcorn or munch a sandwich, or it can be used with the preposition on. There is no real difference in meaning.

In pop culture

Munchies is the title of a 1987 movie. You can watch the trailer here:

Did you know?

An informal related term is the munchies which is a way of saying you have a real craving for something to eat. It is particularly associated with smoking marijuana, which tends to give people the munchies, but it can just be used as an informal way of saying you’d really like something to snack on, so you shouldn’t assume someone has been taking drugs if you hear them use it!

Other forms

muncher (noun)


Munch, meaning ‘to chew steadily and deliberately,’ dates back to the early 15th century. Its origin is uncertain, but some linguists believe that it evolved from the Middle English verb mocchen (to munch), which emerged as an imitation of the sound of chewing. The addition of the n could have been due to the influence of the similar (and also imitative) crunch. Others think it came into English, or was possibly influenced by, the Old French verb mangier (to eat or bite), from the Latin manducare (to chew). This would make munch related to the French manger and the Italian mangiare (to eat).

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