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

Remove the pan from the oven, remove and discard any large pieces of fat from the pork, and break the pork into 4 to 6 large chunks. Krystyna Chávez, Marie Claire, "9 Easy Kentucky Derby Recipe Ideas You Can Whip Up In No Time," 3 May 2019 Before feeding ingredients into the processor’s tube, make sure to cut the food into small-sized chunks to avoid overloading the machine. Betty Gold, Good Housekeeping, "The 7 Best Food Processors to Buy, According to Kitchen Appliance Experts," 1 Feb. 2019 Tear stale slices into chunks and toss with dressing. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Cider-Braised Chicken-and-Fennel Panzanella," 21 Sep. 2018 In a large bowl, break up the ground lamb into rough chunks. Adam Ried, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Switch it up with lamb burgers instead of beef," 13 July 2018 Break the meringues into bite-size chunks; fold into the cream mixture. Jeanmarie Brownson, chicagotribune.com, "When Eton mess gives you extra yolks, whip them up into ice cream," 10 July 2018 Verdict: Smoke-ish Mangoes: Leave the skin on the mango and cut it into three or four big chunks. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "The 4 fruits to put in the smoker, and 5 to avoid," 9 July 2018 The beef comes out thinly sliced, topped with cilantro and crushed peanuts, and the conch is cut into tender chunks mixed with slivers of fresh scallion. Lillian Li, Bon Appetit, "We Like Our Crispy Intestines Extra Crispy," 6 June 2018 Meatballs Serves 8 to 10 1 small loaf stale Italian bread (about 8 thick slices) torn into 2½-inch chunks2 lbs. Jessica Fecteau, PEOPLE.com, "Donatella Arpaia Shares the Family Recipe That Started Her 'Whole Career' As a Celebrity Chef," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Clearly flustered, Spieth then chunked his third shot from the drop area into the water again. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Best Masters Memories From the Past 20 Years: No. 5 - Spieth's Implosion at 12," 31 Mar. 2018 One particular motif has Camille driving around town, chunking the same Led Zeppelin tape into her car stereo. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "‘Sharp Objects,’ a Mesmerizing Southern Thriller, Cuts Slow but Deep," 5 July 2018 But the software can chunk them together in various ways to make possible letters. Sam Kean, The Atlantic, "Artificial Intelligence Is Unlocking the Vatican's Secret Archives," 30 Apr. 2018 The tree chunks Answer Man has seen have mostly been on telecommunications lines, which Jamerson said Pepco’s crews don’t touch. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Ever noticed chunks of trees on utility pole wires? What’s up with that?," 2 July 2018 Cruise boats take day trips to some of Southcentral Alaska's biggest and brightest glaciers, which send chunks the size of cars into the water with dramatic splashes. Josh Niva, Anchorage Daily News, "Getting your outdoor adventure fix in Southcentral Alaska," 2 May 2018 Top those with the protein (could be chunked or whole filet). Chris Morocco, Bon Appetit, "Ponzu Roasted Salmon for Two," 19 Mar. 2018 The skewers of pork belly were another beer cuisine winner, the tender chunks glazed in a sweet dark reduction of the colonial-theme spruce ale. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "Yards brewery is better, not just bigger, with move and ambitious new taproom," 23 Mar. 2018 But the conditions were deteriorating as snow that had warmed and melted during the day began to freeze into chunks the size of small hailstones. Elliott D. Woods, Outside Online, "How Mike Foote Set an Obscure 24-Hour Skiing Record," 20 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for chunk

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chunk

The first known use of chunk was in 1691

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More Definitions for chunk

chunk

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chunk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chunk

Spanish Central: Translation of chunk

Nglish: Translation of chunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chunk for Arabic Speakers

Comments on chunk

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