Definition of scrunch in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Make a loud crunching noise.

    ‘crisp yellow leaves scrunched underfoot’
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial Crush or squeeze (something) into a compact mass.
      ‘Gloria scrunched the handkerchief into a ball’
      • ‘The sleeves on her violet tee shirt were scrunched up past her elbows as she cooked and her hair was tied back in a ponytail.’
      • ‘I would read the paper too, trying to scrunch up my face like my fathers, as if that would help me better comprehend the stories.’
      • ‘It took a truly evil grin to scrunch up my face muscles enough to keep the monocle in place.’
      • ‘One mention of it causes them to scrunch up their faces, stick their fingers in their ears and squeal ‘too much information’ in unmanly high voices.’
      • ‘Jasmine scrunched her eyebrows together in an expression of perplexity.’
      • ‘Turn off the lights, close the curtains, cut a hole in a sheet, scrunch up your eyes and get to it.’
      • ‘She smirked as she saw him scrunch up his face in thought.’
      • ‘But we already knew one could scrunch up the sleeves of tees and cardigans.’
      • ‘I scrunch up my nose and wipe the silverware on my t-shirt.’
      • ‘Dr. B. loved it and would scrunch up his face in that way that made his moustache wiggle when I'd launch into the description of the annual Miss Antler contest.’
      • ‘The Platinum Pied Pipers have taken music and twisted and scrunched it into Triple P to produce a refreshing, multi-talented, many-layered masterpiece of modern music.’
      • ‘I flick my ear, as if to shoo away a worrisome fly, roll over, scrunch up the bedclothes, and resolve, this time, to fall bloody asleep.’
      • ‘She had just noticed him watching her like a hawk and she also knew it was pointless of her to scrunch up the paper and hide it in her palm for he had already seen it.’
      • ‘Cautiously I pushed my thumb in even harder, doing that thing where you scrunch up your face as if that makes it so it won't splash me, only to discover that the blessed thing was hard-boiled!’
      • ‘Nonetheless, it made him scrunch up his face in terror.’
      • ‘She would scrunch up her shoulders and grin and almost convert entirely to bubbles at the very mention of the concept.’
      • ‘I stuck out my tongue and he pinched me, causing me to scrunch up my nose.’
      • ‘But don't take our word for this: seek advice from your lawyer before you scrunch up that demand and hurl it in the bin.’
      crumple, crumple up, crunch, crunch up, crush, rumple, screw up, squash, squash up, twist, twist up, mash, mash up, squeeze, compress, chew, chew up
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Become crushed or squeezed into a compact mass.
      ‘their faces scrunch up with concentration’
      • ‘The raunch smell caused his nose to scrunch up in distaste as he looked at his pet wolf.’
      • ‘They may, for example, scrunch up where other leaves of the same species lie flat.’
      • ‘He placed his hand on the nape of her neck and squeezed harshly, causing Mandy's face to scrunch up in pain.’
      • ‘It weighs only a few ounces and can scrunch up small.’
      • ‘As she saw his eyebrows scrunch up, she looked down at her dress.’
      • ‘This makes their faces scrunch up in concentration.’
      • ‘He enjoyed watching her mouth curve as she formed words, or her eyes scrunch up when she smiled; all in all she was very attractive.’
      • ‘The little action caused her nose to scrunch up considerably before a soft smile took her lips and she went back to whatever dream she was in.’
      • ‘Open mouth wide and let shoulders scrunch up toward the head.’
      • ‘Alex's face started to scrunch up at the yelling.’
    3. 1.3with object Style (hair) by squeezing or crushing it in the hands to give a tousled look.
      • ‘Apply Ripple Effect, then scrunch hair to lock in curls and waves.’
      • ‘She tied the back of her shirt with the ponytail holder and scrunched her hair to wild perfection.’
      • ‘Then use a hair diffuser to blow-dry, scrunching it with your fingers.’
      • ‘After hair is dry spritz texturizing spray evenly throughout layers, then scrunch to get separation and more body.’
      • ‘My hair was in a messy bun filled with gel and hair spray, a new technique I learned that helps your hair become more scrunched.’
      • ‘Hey Lena, do u think I should scrunch up my hair today, or blow dry it straight?’
      • ‘She returned into her room, took the towel off her head, and scrunched her hair, wringing her tresses of the water.’


  • A loud crunching noise.

    ‘Charlotte heard the scrunch of boots on gravel’
    • ‘Perfect powder snow makes a satisfying scrunch as I plod out to the children's area, an ungainly heel-toe process in the leaden moon boots binding my ankles.’
    • ‘With a pang and a ping and a scrunch not unlike the sensation you get when a tooth is pulled, the glass shattered the moment the tensioning springs were released.’
    • ‘She was right on the edge of the temporary office and could feel tarry gravel scrunch under her feet as a line of stones followed one another off the end like hairless lemmings.’
    • ‘A scrunch of a foot on dirt was the only alert Ben and Marle needed.’
    • ‘He moves on to another chair - it responds the same way, with an adaptive scrunch, a return to form and a thrilling thwap.’
    • ‘It was a relief to swap the scrunch of tyres on track for the whisper of tyres on tarmac and the view towards Langdale End was the best of the day.’
    • ‘With her ear to the floor, Yelina could hear gravel whacking and rattling against the bottom of the vehicle, the scrunch of the tires.’
    • ‘It falls generously, with a sumptuous metallic scrunch.’


Late 18th century (in the sense ‘eat or bite noisily’): probably imitative; compare with crunch.