ki·​lo·​byte | \ ˈkē-lə-ˌbīt How to pronounce kilobyte (audio) , ˈki-lə- \

Definition of kilobyte

: a unit of computer information equal to 1024 bytes also : one thousand bytes

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Did You Know?

Knowing the root kilo-, you might think a kilobyte would be exactly 1,000 bytes. But actually a kilobyte represents the power of 2 that comes closest to 1,000: that is, 210 (2 to the 10th power), or 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2, or 1,024. Why 2? Because the capacity of memory chips is always based on powers of 2. Locations in electronic memory circuits are identified by binary numbers (numbers that use only the digits 0 and 1), so the number of addressable locations becomes a power of 2.

Examples of kilobyte in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The program weighed in at two kilobytes, four times the size of Mark Lesser’s 511-byte handheld games, and was much more complex. David L. Craddock, Ars Technica, "How a basement hacker transformed Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600," 14 Sep. 2019 Facebook's popular open source React library for building user interfaces, for example, weighs in at 100 kilobytes. Klint Finley, Wired, "The JavaScript Framework That Puts Web Pages on a Diet," 4 Apr. 2020 In total, 28 days of data can be stored in the app in under 100 kilobytes of space (that's less storage space than a single photo takes up). Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "This MIT App Tracks the Spread of Coronavirus While Protecting Your Privacy," 18 Mar. 2020 Images can be compressed into a few kilobytes versus a video that plays at 25 frames per second. Bryan Borzykowski, Washington Post, "Lights, camera, action: Is the world ready for video dating?," 10 Feb. 2020 FTI Consulting found that six months before the video download, Bezos's phone averaged about 430 kilobytes of data coming from the phone per day, a small amount. Louise Matsakis, Wired, "Everything We Know About the Jeff Bezos Phone Hack," 22 Jan. 2020 By comparison, a single three minute song compressed in mp3 format is about 3,000 kilobytes, and a typical 1 terabyte personal computer hard drive can store 1,073,741,824 kilobytes. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Air Force Finally Ditches 8-Inch Floppy Disks," 22 Oct. 2019 The first 8-inch floppies could hold up to 80 kilobytes of information. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Air Force Finally Ditches 8-Inch Floppy Disks," 22 Oct. 2019 The whole thing ran on an Apple II+ with 64 kilobytes of RAM and dual floppy drives. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Ars goes back to school: The video games that threatened our college GPA," 8 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kilobyte.' 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 kilobyte

1970, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kilobyte

from the fact that 1024 (210) is the power of 2 closest to 1000

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Time Traveler for kilobyte

Time Traveler

The first known use of kilobyte was in 1970

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Statistics for kilobyte

Last Updated

13 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kilobyte.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for kilobyte


How to pronounce kilobyte (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of kilobyte

: a unit of computer information equal to 1,024 bytes


ki·​lo·​byte | \ ˈki-lə-ˌbīt How to pronounce kilobyte (audio) \

Kids Definition of kilobyte

: a unit of computer information storage equal to 1024 bytes

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More from Merriam-Webster on kilobyte

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kilobyte

Spanish Central: Translation of kilobyte

Nglish: Translation of kilobyte for Spanish Speakers

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