(third-person singular simple present mooches, present participle mooching, simple past and past participle mooched)
- (UK) To wander around aimlessly, often causing irritation to others.
- To beg, cadge, or sponge; to exploit or take advantage of others for personal gain.
- (UK) To steal or filch.
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.