- to skulk or sneak
- to loiter, loaf, or rove about
- to get food, money, etc. by begging or sponging
Origin of moochMiddle English mowchen, dialect, dialectal variant, variety of mychen, to pilfer: see miche
- to steal; pilfer
- to get by begging or sponging; cadge
verbmooched, mooch·ing, mooch·es
- To obtain or try to obtain by begging; cadge. See Synonyms at cadge.
- To steal; filch.
- To get or try to get something free of charge; sponge: lived by mooching off friends.
- To wander about aimlessly.
- To skulk around; sneak.
- One who begs or cadges; a sponge.
- A dupe, as in a confidence game.
Origin of moochMiddle English mowchen probably from Old French muchier to hide, skulk
(third-person singular simple present mooches, present participle mooching, simple past and past participle mooched)
- One who mooches; a moocher.
From Middle English moochen, mouchen (“to pretend poverty"), from Old French muchier, mucier, mucer (“to skulk, hide, conceal"), from Old Frankish *mukjan (“to hide, conceal oneself"), from Proto-Germanic *mukjanÄ…, *mÅ«kÅnÄ… (“to hide, ambush"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)mÅ«g-, *(s)mewgÊ°- (“swindler, thief"). Cognate with Old High German mÅ«hhÅn (“to store, cache, plunder"), Middle High German muchen, mucken (“to hide, stash"), Middle English mÃ¼chen, michen (“to rob, steal, pilfer"). More at mitch.
Alternate etymology derives mooch from Middle English mucchen (“to hoard, be stingy", literally “to hide coins in one's nightcap"), from mucche (“nightcap"), from Middle Dutch mutse (“cap, nightcap"), from Medieval Latin almucia (“nightcap"), of unknown origin. More at mutch, amice.