Definition of mooch in English:



  • 1British [no object] Loiter in a bored or listless manner.

    ‘he just mooched about his bedsit’
    • ‘Tracy was looking for a new mobile phone, so whilst mooching round Carlisle yesterday we happened to look in the mobile shop.’
    • ‘So I'm going to lay in bed late, then probably head over to Brighton to mooch about the shops.’
    • ‘I'm in San Francisco from the 17th till 28th of this month for the Emerging Tech Conference and some general mooching around.’
    • ‘Today I spent the day mooching around Preston market with stops in several drinking establishments and a few games of Table Football with my friend Dean…’
    • ‘We're now mooching around the flat and trying to work out where to eat this evening.’
    • ‘He mooched around the Common Room for a few minutes wondering if he should go over his homework again but decided not to bother, he just wasn't in the mood.’
    • ‘It should be just about enough to see everything on the list I've made from flicking through the guidebook, but it doesn't leave much time for mooching around and sitting in cafes.’
    • ‘They mooch around with no energy and look miserable backstage.’
    • ‘When I woke I found I couldn't settle to much, and I've spent the rest of the day mooching, not doing the cleaning, not doing the washing, not sweeping the paths and not removing the weeds from the front fence.’
    • ‘I remember spending hours mooching round Robinson's records and the Church Street market.’
    • ‘Well, I got there a bit early so went and mooched round a couple of gallery rooms.’
    • ‘Firstly, according to reports, Tom mooched about on his own in a hotel room while Katie went out shopping for the day, only to join her at the Post House Steakhouse for a meal with around a dozen friends.’
    • ‘Today I mooched around a bit more to get my bearings.’
    • ‘We spend the rest of the night mooching around in the lounge.’
    • ‘The train rolls smoothly along through the night, and during the day you can take a tailor-made excursion or slope off alone and dart down inviting alleyways, mooch around markets or bargain in bazaars.’
    • ‘As I was mooching about I called into a shop and bought a couple of really nice porcelain mugs that were in the sale for £3.00.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Scott's mooching around the house (no change there then).’
    • ‘Four British soldiers mooch nonchalantly with rifles on the shoreline as the mast of a German ship flails over just three metres away.’
    • ‘The meetings were kept mercifully short, and were followed by an extensive buffet, and there was plenty of free time for mooching around and doing our own stuff.’
    • ‘No, they can't tell me when he'll show up - so I have to mooch about and wait.’
    dawdle, dally, stroll, saunter, loll, go slowly, take one's time, go at a snail's pace, move at a snail's pace, drag one's feet, delay
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  • 2North American [with object] Ask for or obtain (something) without paying for it.

    ‘a bunch of your friends will show up, mooching food’
    [no object] ‘I'm mooching off you all the time’
    • ‘He goes around the cafeteria and floats from table to table, talking with everyone and mooching off them at the same time so he doesn't have to pay for lunch.’
    • ‘I hate mooching lifts off of other people.’
    • ‘The two merchants didn't look entirely pleased to have the players mooching off of their business, but it was obvious to the eyes of an outsider that the music was actually attracting customers.’
    • ‘Still unable to sleep well in his unfamiliar surroundings, David headed for the kitchen at two in the morning, hoping someone had left an unemptied coffee pot from which he could mooch a leftover cupful.’
    • ‘She's mooching off my name, trying to get money or something like that, I suppose.’
    • ‘I could probably just mooch off my brother, he usually mooched off of our mom, anyway.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Steph keeps busy trying to mooch a place to stay off his lover, Rose.’
    • ‘They are nice in every way, except for the fact that they always try to mooch food from us.’
    • ‘I dropped by Shay's apartment to mooch food.’
    • ‘Would you like to mooch dinner off of me tonight?’
    • ‘Oh, before that Wesley and I went to Michael's home and mooched beer off him.’
    • ‘No money equals no food, and it wasn't like I had any friends to mooch off of.’
    • ‘Did you just figure you could mooch food off of me as well?’
    • ‘Plus, since Ron couldn't mooch rides off me anymore, he stopped coming by my place as much.’
    • ‘Undaunted, Matthew mooches thousands of dollars from his parents and self publishes.’
    • ‘The only way he could think of was mooching a ride out of Abby and Brian.’
    • ‘Not only does he mooch my money and my beer, but now he mooches my valuable radio time!’
    • ‘Yes, I would mooch a ride with him… if he didn't run away before I could talk to him.’
    • ‘He was always late for class, he always mooched off of Melissa for food and he could be so insensitive.’
    • ‘Jerry was going to a community college and mooching off of my mum while he did.’
    ask for money, solicit money, seek charity, seek alms
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  • 1British [in singular] An instance of loitering in a bored or listless manner.

    • ‘After having a mooch around whilst chatting to a mixture of students who were on the course, it became clear that although being a gifted artist is helpful, the thought and understanding behind their work was most important.’
    • ‘We knew we couldn't stay too long, with school for him the next day, too - so, after a large meal and a good mooch on the beach for an hour, we set off for home.’
    • ‘Amazingly, for me, I got to the Airport early, so I went and had a mooch about and had a coffee in Terminal One.’
    • ‘We had a mooch round the first floor of galleries, but didn't see anything else that really caught our eyes.’
    • ‘I was thinking, as I went into the Cathedral for a mooch about, that the days are beginning to get noticeably lighter for longer now.’
    • ‘While we were there we had a mooch around the centre and had fish and chips.’
    • ‘It was nice to get out and get some fresh air and a bit of a mooch around though.’
    • ‘Then we went to the bookshop for a mooch, and then we had dinner.’
    • ‘Have a mooch around here, there's some good links.’
    • ‘I'm going for a mooch around to see what I can find.’
    • ‘This morning started at a fairly leisurely pace with a mini-lie in for our last morning away, then coffee and eventually a mooch around the shops.’
  • 2North American A beggar or scrounger.

    • ‘She recently told the daughter of a mooch that she ought to leave her father to his bottomless debt.’
    • ‘Imagine an army of mooches knowing that you'll give things up upon request.’
    • ‘Banks are a bunch of mooches.’
    • ‘We threw out the mooches, the loafers, and the do-nothings.’
    • ‘"The only way I would like George is that if he sobered up and quit being a mooch off of you," She replied.’
    • ‘For starters, the meathead was very much both a mooch and much worse—an ingrate.’
    • ‘He brought an empty bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag to a party so he wouldn't appear a mooch.’
    • ‘You might get something for free, but you'll become known as a mooch.’
    • ‘I ate a pack of her cheese on crackers like a mooch.’
    • ‘For some reason society continues to coddle these mooches, and thus it is considered noble to take part in giving the needy what they want.’
    tramp, beggarman, beggarwoman, vagrant, vagabond, down-and-out, homeless person, derelict, mendicant
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘to hoard’): probably from Old French muchier ( Anglo-Norman muscher) hide, skulk: compare with mitch. Current senses date from the mid 19th century.