\ 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


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

The stadium clock was broken for a large chunk of the game and so was the offense. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Rugged Auburn defense gives Bo Nix luxury of time," 7 Sep. 2019 The most colorful description of winter weather in this year’s edition is reserved for a chunk of the Midwest that includes much of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "Farmers' vs. Farmer's: What the almanacs are predicting for winter 2019," 29 Aug. 2019 That leaves left guard in the hands of undrafted free agent Lester Cotton Sr. for a big chunk of time against Seattle. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Raiders place running back Doug Martin on IR, sign Corey Liuget," 25 Aug. 2019 Ultimately the city will be on the hook for a chunk of the tab. Robert Higgs,, "Cleveland looks to provide legal representation for impoverished families facing eviction," 21 Aug. 2019 There is no urban design that has been created for this chunk of Wilshire that will be one of the most pedestrian and populated parts of the city. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Essential Arts: Fiery missives for Peter Zumthor and the architects of the Miracle Mile," 13 July 2019 This was a team that was the unanimously No. 1 for a big chunk of the fall -- playing without a serious challenge until December. Michael Casagrande |,, "What Alabama football should fix in 2019," 11 July 2019 You and Maya also have to be tied to each other for a good chunk of time. Tim Stack,, "Joe Keery on Steve the hero and Robin's secret in Stranger Things 3," 5 July 2019 At the age of 23, Holland has been living his own dream playing Spider-Man for a significant chunk of the past four years. Sonaiya Kelley,, "‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ lays the groundwork for the future of Marvel and Tom Holland," 29 June 2019

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, The Conversation, "7 tips on how to take better notes," 3 Sep. 2019 Weigh out 1 3/4 pounds chunks (about one quarter of the flesh) and place in a blender with the sugar, lime juice, salt and rosewater; place the remaining chunks in a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to use. Los Angeles Times, "A melon dessert as intoxicating as the fruit," 10 Aug. 2019 Maybe it could be chunked up into deals for Rodney Hood and Seth Curry. Rob Mahoney,, "The Warriors, NBA Free Agency and What Comes Next," 28 June 2019 The ball was sitting on such tight grass that he easily could have chunked or skulled it. Daniel Rapaport,, "2019 U.S. Open Parting Thoughts: Woodland's Gutsy Win, Tiger's Showing and More," 17 June 2019 Clearly flustered, Spieth then chunked his third shot from the drop area into the water again. Daniel Rapaport,, "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

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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Statistics for chunk

Last Updated

14 Sep 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



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

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

What made you want to look up chunk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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