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[mooch] /mutʃ/ Slang.
verb (used with object)
to borrow (a small item or amount) without intending to return or repay it.
to get or take without paying or at another's expense; sponge:
He always mooches cigarettes.
to beg.
to steal.
verb (used without object)
to skulk or sneak.
to loiter or wander about.
Also, moocher. a person who mooches.
Origin of mooch
1425-75; late Middle English, apparently variant of Middle English michen < Old French muchier to skulk, hide Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mooch
  • It is an outrage that people come here to mooch instead of contribute.
  • If the charter trolls exclusively, and you prefer to mooch, you probably won't have an enjoyable trip.
  • They are taught to say and do whatever it takes to get the mooch's money.
British Dictionary definitions for mooch


verb (slang)
(intransitive) often foll by around. to loiter or walk aimlessly
(intransitive) to behave in an apathetic way
(intransitive) to sneak or lurk; skulk
(transitive) to cadge
(transitive) (mainly US & Canadian) to steal
Derived Forms
moocher, noun
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from Old French muchier to skulk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mooch

mid-15c., "pretend poverty," probably from Old French muchier, mucier "to hide, sulk, conceal, hide away, keep out of sight," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Celtic or Germanic (Liberman prefers the latter, Klein the former). Or the word may be a variant of Middle English mucchen "to hoard, be stingy" (c.1300), probably originally "to keep coins in one's nightcap," from mucche "nightcap," from Middle Dutch muste "cap, nightcap," ultimately from Medieval Latin almucia, of unknown origin. Sense of "sponge off others" first recorded 1857.

Whatever the distant origin of mooch, the verb *mycan and its cognates have been part of European slang for at least two millennia. [Liberman]
Related: Mooched; mooching. As a noun meaning "a moocher," from 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for mooch


  1. moocher (1914+)
  2. A gullible customer; dupe; mark (1929+ Carnival)
  3. A person who listens to the pitch, but does not buy (1940s+ Carnival)
  4. A customer who painstakingly examines the merchandise before buying (1940s+ Salespersons)
  1. To beg; borrow; cadge, sponge: The geisha girls are forever mooching chocolates (1857+)
  2. To steal (1862+)
  3. To stroll; loaf along (1851+)

[fr earlier mowche, ''to pretend poverty; play truant,'' found by 1460, fr Old French muchier, ''to hide, skulk'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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