\ 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

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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 More than 40 shows have been announced so far, and a good chunk of them are already sold out or nearing it. Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune, "4 Twin Cities venues are getting an early jump on outdoor concerts," 29 Apr. 2021 The issue brought more than 300 public comments to Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, where the Takoma Junction project took over a good chunk of the four-hour meeting. Washington Post, "Why are the liberals of Takoma Park suing to protect a piece of asphalt?," 29 Apr. 2021 Under the leadership of Frank Reich, Indianapolis has built a good chunk of its identity around its offensive line, and the Colts are acutely aware of the size of the hole on Carson Wentz’s blind side. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts' need at LT matches deepest OL draft class Chris Ballard's seen in years," 27 Apr. 2021 Shares sunk in afternoon trading on Thursday when the news broke, but then recovered a good chunk of the losses. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Stocks rebound from Biden tax-hike fears—but crypto is in a tailspin," 23 Apr. 2021 If a domestic fab uses international inputs, a good chunk of any subsidy would go overseas. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "Nvidia’s Acquisition of Arm in Jeopardy," 20 Apr. 2021 Aldridge spent a good chunk of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers — nine of his 15 seasons were spent in Rip City — and averaged 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds a game while with the franchise. oregonlive, "Watch some of LaMarcus Aldridge’s best highlights with the Trail Blazers," 15 Apr. 2021 People stashed away a good chunk of their checks in savings accounts. Dan Runkevicius, Forbes, "The ‘Engineered’ Recovery Will Crash This Part Of The Stock Market," 15 Apr. 2021 After snagging all those assets from Ditka, Washington then traded a good chunk away to get CB Champ Bailey before winding up with LB LaVar Arrington in 2000. Nate Davis, USA Today, "101 biggest NFL draft busts in history: Which gaffes stand out the most?," 12 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Roast the medium-sweet flesh, or chunk it for stews. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "16 Types of Squash and Everything You Need to Know About Them," 19 July 2020 In the first round, Mattie, Swaggy, and Cory decide to team up and chunk out the sequence together. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "The Challenge: Total Madness recap: Double elimination sends two strong guys home," 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, "No PC, no problem: Shadow supercharges cloud gaming with lower prices, faster hardware, and VR," 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,, "Bruins unable to convert a host of good looks," 9 Feb. 2020 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 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

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


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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chunk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for chunk



English Language Learners Definition of chunk

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


\ 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

Nglish: Translation of chunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chunk for Arabic Speakers

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