comes to the crunch


comes to the crunch,
also, when the crunch comes


  • in a critical moment or crucial time, or in a tight corner.
  • finding oneself at a decisive point where the course of one’s life is determined.
  • being in a situation where you are at a very difficult or important point where a decision of how to move on must be made.
  • when a situation gets very serious, and there is a need for a decision.
  • when people find themselves in a tight corner.
  • when immediate or decisive action is necessary.
  • when a difficult situation cannot be avoided anymore.

Example Sentences

  1. I’m ready to resign due to this if it comes to the crunch.
  2. Some issues are deemed more critical when it comes to the crunch.
  3. If it comes to the crunch and you get divorced, you can always stay with us.
  4. She always threatened to leave him, but she did not have the courage when it came to the crunch.
  5. It’s always the same. She promises help, but when the crunch comes, she invents excuses.


The phrase is not as old as it might appear, since its first recorded use was in July 1960 in The Times. It was used to describe people holding government bonds. The crunch is a noun that is not used often, but its memorable usage is by Winston Churchill, who liked to use it in his descriptions of challenges. The Daily Telegraph reported him in 1939, when he said that the chance for Spain to find its way back to health and sanity would mostly depend on how the outcome of the European crunch turned out. Since Churchill was influential and widely reported, it is believed that the phrase “comes to the crunch” is a direct derivative of earlier versions of his mode of speech.

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