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 Donahoe’s potential penalty for missing those targets: a six- or even seven-figure chunk of his compensation. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Want progress on diversity? Link it to your CEO’s pay," 6 Apr. 2021 The pathway to the 2021 national championship – not 2020's – began when March Madness was canceled on March 12 of last year, as both teams returned a chunk of their rosters for 2020-21. Editors, USA TODAY, "NCAA championship game, Derek Chauvin murder trial, SAG Awards: 5 things to know Monday," 5 Apr. 2021 It’s located on a considerable chunk of land, too, with about three private acres available to the future owner. Helena Madden, Robb Report, "Home Tours: This $38 Million SoCal Mansion Has a 55-Foot Pool That Will Rival Any Resort’s," 5 Apr. 2021 That’s a pretty sizable chunk of the roughly $11 billion total lifetime cost of the program. From a public-facing perspective, what is most costly for NASA is time. Mike Wehner, BGR, "NASA just revealed how much the pandemic has cost them, and it’s insane," 4 Apr. 2021 The Brigham paid Medtronic $19 million in 2018 for various devices and services, according to the hospital’s most recent public filing, a sizable chunk of business that the hospital’s own leader had to stay entirely uninvolved in. BostonGlobe.com, "Boston’s hospital chiefs moonlight on corporate boards at rates far beyond the national rate," 3 Apr. 2021 The casinos’ state tax revenue supports K-12 education, and local tax revenue provides a big chunk of the city of Detroit’s budget. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's online sports betting launch was a big win. I talked to the man behind it," 3 Apr. 2021 The larger airlines, which depend more on business travelers, countered with their own no-frills tickets called Basic Economy rather than surrender a chunk of the market. David Koenig, ajc, "Frontier Airlines hopes IPO rides wave of travel recovery," 1 Apr. 2021 The larger airlines, which depend more on business travelers, countered with their own no-frills tickets called Basic Economy rather than surrender a chunk of the market. David Koenig, Chron, "Frontier Airlines hopes IPO rides wave of travel recovery," 1 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, EW.com, "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, BostonGlobe.com, "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

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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Learn More about chunk

Statistics for chunk

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chunk. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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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

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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