1814, "crush with the teeth," a variant of craunch (1630s), which probably is of imitative origin. Meaning "act or proceed with a sound of crunching" is by 1849. Related: Crunched; crunching.
The noun is 1836, "an act of crunching," from the verb; the sense of "critical moment" was popularized 1939 by Winston Churchill, who had used it in his 1938 biography of Marlborough.
name taken by Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skriabin (1890-1986), Soviet minister of foreign affairs 1939-1949, from Russian molot "hammer," cognate with Latin malleus, from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind." Molotov cocktail "glass bottle filled with flammable liquid and a means of ignition" (1940) is a term from Russo-Finnish War (used and satirically named by the Finns).
*melə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to crush, grind," with derivatives referring to ground or crumbling substances and crushing or grinding instruments.
It forms all or part of: amyl; amyloid; blintz; emmer; emolument; immolate; maelstrom; mall; malleable; malleolus; mallet; malleus; maul; meal (n.2) "edible ground grain;" mill (n.1) "building fitted to grind grain;" millet; mola; molar (n.); mold (n.3) "loose earth;" molder; ormolu; pall-mall.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite mallanzi "they grind;" Armenian malem "I crush, bruise;" Greek mylos "millstone," myle "mill;" Latin molere "to grind," mola "millstone, mill," milium "millet;" Old English melu "meal, flour;" Albanian miel "meal, flour;" Old Church Slavonic meljo, Lithuanian malu, malti "to grind;" Old Church Slavonic mlatu, Russian molotu "hammer."
The weakened or transferred meaning "to trouble in body or mind, harass, distress," is attested from 1530s. Related: Afflicted; afflicting.
Middle English pounen, "pulverize (a herb or an ingredient of a medicine or perfume), grind (grain)," from Old English punian "crush by beating, pulverize, beat, bruise," from West Germanic *puno- (source also of Low German pun, Dutch puin "fragments"). With unetymological -d- from 16c. Meaning "to beat, strike, punch (someone)" is from early 14c. Sense of "beat or thrash as with the fists or a heavy instrument" is by 1790. Related: Pounded; pounding.
name of the vampire king in Bram Stoker's novel (1897). It was a surname of Prince Vlad II of Wallachia (d. 1476), and means in Romanian "son of Dracul," literally "the dragon" (see dragon), from the name and emblem taken by Vlad's father, also named Vlad, c. 1431 when he joined the Order of the Dragon, founded 1418 by Sigismund the Glorious of Hungary to defend the Christian religion from the Turks and crush heretics and schismatics.
1765, "an alloy of copper, zinc, and tin resembling gold," from French or moulu, literally "ground gold," from or "gold" (from Latin aurum, from PIE *aus- (2) "gold;" see aureate) + moulu "ground up," past participle of moudre "to grind," from Latin molere "to grind" (from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind"). The sense of the word before it reached English began as "gold leaf prepared for gilding bronze, brass, etc.," then shifted to "gilded bronze," then to various prepared metallic substances resembling it.