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

Definition of kilobyte

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

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 On the building's surface, the 1,024 panels, representing a kilobyte of data, were cut with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines. Nicola Chilton, CNN, 20 June 2022 For a 523 kilobyte image file hosted by Twitter, researchers determined that the amount of data that could be downloaded decreased by more than 87% compared with an image hosted elsewhere, closely resembling a 2G connection. New York Times, 23 Oct. 2021 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, 14 Sep. 2019 Facebook's popular open source React library for building user interfaces, for example, weighs in at 100 kilobytes. Klint Finley, Wired, 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, 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, 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, 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, 22 Oct. 2019 See More

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.

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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The first known use of kilobyte was in 1970

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Cite this Entry

“Kilobyte.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for kilobyte


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

More from Merriam-Webster on kilobyte

Nglish: Translation of kilobyte for Spanish Speakers


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