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: a short thick piece or lump (as of wood or coal)
: a large noteworthy quantity or part
bet a sizable chunk of money on the race
: a strong thickset horse usually smaller than a draft horse
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


2 of 2


chunked; chunking; chunks

intransitive verb

: to make a dull plunging or explosive sound
the rhythmic chunking of thrown quoitsJohn Updike

transitive verb

: to mishit (a golf ball or shot) by striking the ground behind the ball
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
In the past, hardware disparities have been a major headache for multiplatform developers, as large chunks of a game would have to be tweaked to support the bespoke processes and systems of each console. WIRED, 24 Sep. 2023 The main storylines at a gloomy United Nations Biden, too, spoke of common challenges like that of a warming planet, but spent a significant chunk of his speech decrying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and called on the international community to stand up in Kyiv’s defense. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2023 The blood sprays and great big chunks of squishy red flesh that tend to follow are just the icing on this gleefully violent cake. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Sep. 2023 Excluding picking up the chunks of marinara sauce and mud (as expected), this mop did a thorough job of cleaning up the remaining parts of the stains. Jenna Clark, Southern Living, 19 Sep. 2023 Lyft agreed Monday to pay $10 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation over a former board member’s involvement in selling a large chunk of the company’s shares before its March 2019 initial public offering. Dave Michaels, WSJ, 18 Sep. 2023 Most folks would slice this chunk thinner and make three or four coffee tables, but this is going to be one massively hefty piece. Lawrence Specker |, al, 18 Sep. 2023 Shelter costs, which make up a big chunk of the CPI, are also poised to slow in the coming months. Bryan Mena, CNN, 17 Sep. 2023 Few could contain their reactions to the first bite into those mouth-watering, golden chunks. Darnell Mayberry | , cleveland, 9 Sep. 2023
My preferred choice for best surf fishing rod for chunking is in St. Croix’s Avid series. Alberto Knie, Field & Stream, 22 June 2023 His hypothesis was that, given the rise of mobile video viewing, a sizable number of smartphone users would pay for a premium mobile TV service with content chunked into sub-10-minute episodes. Todd Spangler, Variety, 23 May 2023 And anyone who’s ever watched Fat Bear Week will certainly recognize celebears like super-mom Holly, who has regularly chunked up despite having cubs to feed too. Erin Berger, Outside Online, 2 Oct. 2019 Love you more than chunking express, or Denis Johnson’s already dead, or the stooges’ raw power. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 11 Apr. 2023 Love you more than chunking express, or Denis Johnson's already dead, or the stooges' raw power. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 10 Apr. 2023 He's developed this ability to chunk stuff. Nour Rahal, Detroit Free Press, 14 Mar. 2023 Add focus time chunks to your calendar. Mark Cruth, Quartz, 10 Mar. 2023 Chunk up, chunk down. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, 12 Oct. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chunk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



perhaps alteration of chuck short piece of wood



First Known Use


1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1890, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of chunk was in 1691

Dictionary Entries Near chunk

Cite this Entry

“Chunk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a short thick piece or lump
: a large amount or part
a chunk of money

More from Merriam-Webster on chunk

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