\ ˈchəŋk How to pronounce chunk (audio) \

Definition of chunk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a short thick piece or lump (as of wood or coal)
2 : a large noteworthy quantity or part bet a sizable chunk of money on the race
3 : a strong thickset horse usually smaller than a draft horse
4 psychology : a unit of information retained in the memory and easily recalled The process of memorizing may be simply the formation of chunks, or groups of items that go together, until there are few enough chunks so that we can recall all the items.— Marilyn Sternglass A chunk represents a recoding of information. For example, the sequence 149217761941 would, for most of us, be a snap to remember. Almost automatically we'd recode the 12 digits into three chunks, 1492, 1776, 1941, all key dates in US history.— Robert Kanigel


chunked; chunking; chunks

Definition of chunk (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to make a dull plunging or explosive sound the rhythmic chunking of thrown quoits— John Updike

transitive verb

1 : to mishit (a golf ball or shot) by striking the ground behind the ball
2 psychology : to organize (separate units of information) into a single large unit that is retained in the memory and easily recalled To recall a 10-digit telephone number, for instance, a person could chunk the digits into three groups: the area code (such as 021), then a three-digit chunk (639) and a four-digit chunk (4345).— Jonathan K. Foster

Examples of chunk in a Sentence

Noun She cut the fruit into large chunks. She spends a good chunk of her day on the phone. He devoted a large chunk of time to the project.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Musk parked a big chunk of Tesla’s nest egg in the riskiest of risk assets, yet made nothing. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 12 May 2022 The navigation bar floats atop the map rather than taking up a big chunk of the screen’s top half. Chris Smith, BGR, 5 May 2022 Such trips by leaders who stand side-by-side with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky make an important statement that Ukraine remains a viable, functioning nation, notwithstanding Putin's forces now trying to bite off a big chunk in the east. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 2 May 2022 If Ahmed ends up needing surgery or missing a major chunk of time, Geraldo Perdomo can step in at short. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 4 Apr. 2022 The music business itself, including the big three record companies and many of the highest earning artists in the industry, remain beholden to Spotify, which represents a major chunk of song royalties in the modern music landscape. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 14 Feb. 2022 However, in late December JANA Partners announced the acquisition of a 6.6% stake in Mercury Systems, and the major chunk of the stock’s rally has come since. Trefis Team, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 Then there is the question of whether a generation of kids lost a major chunk of outdoor time during a critical period in their physical development, depriving their bodies of beneficial microbes that exist in soil, and on leaves. Kara Miller,, 16 Dec. 2021 The order represents a major chunk of Tesla’s annual production volume, which has been growing in recent years. Dave Sebastian, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Roast the medium-sweet flesh, or chunk it for stews. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, 19 July 2020 In the first round, Mattie, Swaggy, and Cory decide to team up and chunk out the sequence together. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 21 May 2020 This beastly setup offers Nvidia’s high-end Titan RTX graphics card, paired with a 4GHz processor, 32GB of RAM, and a full terabyte of storage space, with the option to rent more in those 256GB chunks at $3 a pop. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, 12 Mar. 2020 The Bruins chunked several birdie putts, including a slick third-period setup from Charlie McAvoy that Chris Wagner heeled wide of an open net. Matt Porter,, 9 Feb. 2020 Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, Quartz, 4 Sep. 2019 Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, Quartz, 4 Sep. 2019 Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, Quartz, 4 Sep. 2019 All these steps, chunked into a single unit in the memory, are triggered by the environmental cue of getting into your car. Jerome Groopman, The New Yorker, 21 Oct. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chunk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of chunk


1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1890, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for chunk


perhaps alteration of chuck short piece of wood



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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chunk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for chunk


\ ˈchəŋk How to pronounce chunk (audio) \

Kids Definition of chunk

: a short thick piece a chunk of ice

More from Merriam-Webster on chunk

Nglish: Translation of chunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chunk for Arabic Speakers


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