chunk

noun
\ 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

chunk

verb
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now rare, such sweetheart deals were once regularly awarded to Hollywood’s top stars, allowing them to receive a chunk of ticket sales even before the studio recouped all its costs. R.t. Watson, WSJ, "Universal Tries to Escape Disaster by Patching Up ‘Dolittle’," 16 Jan. 2020 Immense biodiversity exists on a treasured chunk of Texas. Matt Wyatt, ExpressNews.com, "South Texas Sand Sheet’s unique treasures uncovered," 16 Jan. 2020 Billions of years later, a chunk of that asteroid crashed into Australia. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian Magazine, "Meteorite Grains Are the Oldest Known Solid Material on Earth," 13 Jan. 2020 Instead, this huge flightless bird (weighing around 7kg and about a metre tall) would probably have pecked a chunk out of you with its massive beak. The Economist, "Palaeontology New Zealand was once a land of giants," 9 Jan. 2020 Here are some highlights of what to expect this year: The return of the Price Hill library The 111-year-old Price Hill library could re-open this year for the first time since a chunk of ceiling fell onto the main floor in July 2018. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "Old libraries to get new life, Downtown library facelift planned. Here's what you're getting from the library tax levy this year," 9 Jan. 2020 It's expected to conduct this survey over the course of two years, focusing on small chunks of the night sky at a time. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Satellite Discovers 'Second Earth'," 8 Jan. 2020 The temperature was in the 60s with hardly a cloud in the sky as Texans fans - and a definite noticeable chunk of Bills fans - gathered outside NRG Stadium to tailgate before the Texans' second straight trip to the postseason. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Texans fans party outside NRG Stadium before playoff game," 4 Jan. 2020 Last February, a driver crossing the bridge was injured after a chunk of ice fell from the bridge and went through his windshield, according to media reports. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Mackinac Bridge reopens after closing because of falling ice," 1 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, Quartz, "A seven-step guide to taking better notes," 4 Sep. 2019 Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, Quartz, "A seven-step guide to taking better notes," 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, "Can Brain Science Help Us Break Bad Habits?," 21 Oct. 2019 Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, Quartz, "A seven-step guide to taking better notes," 4 Sep. 2019 Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, Quartz, "A seven-step guide to taking better notes," 4 Sep. 2019 Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, Quartz, "A seven-step guide to taking better notes," 4 Sep. 2019 Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, Quartz, "A seven-step guide to taking better notes," 4 Sep. 2019 Capacity can be increased by chunking information into smaller bits (level 3). Kenneth A. Kiewra, The Conversation, "7 tips on how to take better notes," 3 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of chunk

Noun

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1890, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for chunk

Noun

perhaps alteration of chuck short piece of wood

Verb

imitative

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Time Traveler for chunk

Time Traveler

The first known use of chunk was in 1691

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Statistics for chunk

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chunk.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chunk. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for chunk

chunk

noun
How to pronounce chunk (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chunk

: a thick piece of something
somewhat informal : a large amount or part of something

chunk

noun
\ ˈchəŋk How to pronounce chunk (audio) \

Kids Definition of chunk

: a short thick piece a chunk of ice

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More from Merriam-Webster on chunk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chunk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chunk

Spanish Central: Translation of chunk

Nglish: Translation of chunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chunk for Arabic Speakers

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