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chockablock

or chock-a-block

[chok-uh-blok]
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adjective
  1. extremely full; crowded; jammed: a room chockablock with furniture and plants.
  2. Nautical. having the blocks drawn close together, as when the tackle is hauled to the utmost.
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adverb
  1. in a crowded manner: books piled chockablock on the narrow shelf.
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Origin of chockablock

cf. chock close (up to), apparently as back formation from chock-full
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chock-a-block

Historical Examples

  • A company came on board the Scourge, and they filled us chock-a-block.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I wish I could ask you to stay, but we are chock-a-block with cousins and aunts.

    The Independence of Claire

    Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

  • The big Ravine and all the small nullahs are chock-a-block with corpses.

  • "Then, if it is true we'll find the Cavarale chock-a-block with British prisoners," said Dacres.

    The Dreadnought of the Air

    Percy F. Westerman

  • The place was chock-a-block with rough-looking men, either looking on or playing the games.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service


British Dictionary definitions for chock-a-block

chock-a-block

adjective, adverb
  1. filled to capacity; in a crammed state
  2. nautical with the blocks brought close together, as when a tackle is pulled as tight as possible
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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 chock-a-block

adj.

nautical, said of two blocks of tackle run so closely they touch; from chock + block (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper