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  1. a thick mass or lump of anything: a chunk of bread; a chunk of firewood.
  2. Informal. a thick-set and strong person.
  3. a strong and stoutly built horse or other animal.
  4. a substantial amount of something: Rent is a real chunk out of my pay.
verb (used with object)
  1. to cut, break, or form into chunks: Chunk that wedge of cheese and put the pieces on a plate.
  2. to remove a chunk or chunks from (often followed by out): Storms have chunked out the road.
verb (used without object)
  1. to form, give off, or disintegrate into chunks: My tires have started to chunk.

Origin of chunk1

First recorded in 1685–95; nasalized variant of chuck2


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1. hunk, piece, wad, gob.


verb (used with object) South Midland and Southern U.S.
  1. to toss or throw; chuck: chunking pebbles at the barn door.
  2. to make or rekindle (a fire) by adding wood, coal, etc., or by stoking (sometimes followed by up).

Origin of chunk2

1825–35, Americanism; perhaps nasalized variant of chuck1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chunk

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But it ain't like him to unbelt for a chunk unless he knows something.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • I tell ye what you do: Give him a bone or a chunk of tough meat to chaw on.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "He needs a chunk of lead about the middle of his appetite," Taterleg declared.

  • "A chunk of wood banged me in the forehead," said Tom simply.

    Tom Slade with the Colors

    Percy K. Fitzhugh

  • Just a handful of twigs at a time will cook coffee or roast a chunk of meat.

British Dictionary definitions for chunk


  1. a thick solid piece, as of meat, wood, etc
  2. a considerable amount

Word Origin

C17: variant of chuck ²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for chunk


"thick block" of something, 1690s, probably a nasalized variant of chuck (n.1) "cut of meat;" meaning "large amount" is 1883, American English.


"to throw," 1835, American English, from chunk (n.) or by similar mutation from chuck (v.1). Related: Chunked; chunking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper