chockablock was our Word of the Day on 05/09/2008. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of chockablock in a Sentence
the mantel was chockablock with knickknacks
Did You Know?
Chockablock started out as a nautical term. A block is a metal or wooden case with one or more pulleys inside. Sometimes, two or more blocks are used (as part of a rope and pulley system called a "block and tackle") to provide a mechanical advantage - as, for example, when hoisting a sail on a traditional sailing ship. When the rope is pulled as far as it will go, the blocks are tight together and are said to be "chockablock." Non-nautical types associated the "chock" in "chockablock" with "chock-full," which goes back to Middle English chokkefull, meaning "full to the limit (a figurative use of "full to choking"). We thus gave "chockablock" the additional meaning "filled up." "Chockablock" can also be an adverb meaning "as close or as completely as possible," as in "families living chockablock" or the seemingly redundant "chockablock full."
CHOCKABLOCK Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of chockablock for English Language Learners
: very full
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