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

Voyager’s computer systems could only hold 69 kilobytes of information, barely enough for one image, let alone 115. Cory Zapatka, The Verge, "Decoding images from the Golden Record," 30 Oct. 2018 According to TechCrunch, the app is just 573 kilobytes, or 1/55th the size of the 32 megabyte regular app. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Facebook Launches Instagram Lite With Its Eyes Set on the Developing World," 28 June 2018 File sizes in the hundreds or thousands of kilobytes usually work. David Staats, idahostatesman, "How to offer tips or submit business news to the Idaho Statesman and Business Insider," 31 Mar. 2017 One county in Florida relies on a slow, outdated, and hard-to-find analog modem that transmit voting results at a snail’s pace of a few kilobytes per second. Kim Zetter, WIRED, "The Dismal State of America’s Decade-Old Voting Machines," 15 Sep. 2015 Facebook and Google aren’t the only companies hoovering up every kilobyte of our digital lives—our late-night shopping habits, social-media posts, travel plans, and celebrity obsessions—and turning that personal data into dollar signs. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Why the G.O.P. Voter Data Leak Is Scarier than It Seems," 20 June 2017 A hit single might take up several kilobytes of storage space, which was a lot in 1988. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The MP3 Is Old But Far From Dead," 15 May 2017

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

The first known use of kilobyte was in 1970

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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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