A chunk is a piece of something. For instance, to blow chunks means to expel pieces of partially digested food from one's mouth.

Bigger than a chip (as in chip off the old block), but smaller than the biggest thing in existance. A chunk can be any portion of something, as long as it's smaller than the original. eg. A chunk of that there mountain

This meaning is not related to chunky. Chunky would be used for something like she's kinda chunky

A relatively large sum of money.

- american underworld dictionary - 1950

The term for a unit of short-term memory brought into common usage in 1956 by George Miller.

A chunk is basicaly what your short-term memory can hold seven (plus or minus two) of. These might be digits, words, nonsense syllables, your area code or pi to 10 places. Anything you know as a single unit.

Once you have about seven chunks in your STM you start losing old ones. Chunks will also start to fade after about 18 seconds if they are not rehearsed.

A human black hole, in the DC Universe. First appeard in Flash (second series) #9.

Chester P Runk was a highly intelligent, but overweight, young african-american man. At school, the other kids called him "the Chunk" and shunned him. He had difficulties dealing with the taunts, and received therapy to try and deal with his insecurities, all the while studying the physics of singularities at an incredibly high level.

In pursuit of a scholarship to study at MIT he built a matter transmitter, using the properties of singularities. Unfortunately, on his first attempt to use it it blew up and imploded, and Chunk mistakenly swallowed it. That's right - he swallowed it. Accidently.

Following this unlikely accident, Chester took on some of the properties of a black hole himself. He was already black and round, but now he could control his own personal gravity, and suck things towards him. He could also absorb things and people, sending them to another dimension, a barren wasteland inhabited at first only by strange flying lizard creatures.

Chester sent many people to this strange wasteland. Some were people that had made fun of his weight, or otherwise slighted him in some way, and some were violent thugs that Chester had deliberately provoked. He soon found out that he actually needed to consume a certain amount of matter every day to avoid imploding, and being sent to the dimension himself, and from there to successively worse dimensions. He became unbalanced, and began to use his powers to steal and absorb dense, precious materials such as gold, platinum and diamonds, calling himself the name that had been used to taunt him at school - Chunk.

Chunk encountered the Flash during one of his robberies, and sent Flash to the wasteland dimension. There, Flash met the other people Chunk had sent there, who had adapted to the harsh conditions as best they could, one group making a camp, hunting the flying creatures and growing plants from seeds found in car boots, the other group eating whoever they could catch in the first group. Flash eventually convinced Chunk that the world would forgive him for sending people to a bizarre other world once he showed them his work on the matter transmitter, as long as he sent everyone back home.

Chunk did manage to get everyone out of the wasteland, and Flash managed to keep him from being arrested. Chunk eventually started up a waste disposal business (yeah, that's right, a highly intelligent black man and the best job he can get is a garbage collector; how's that for biting social commentary?), and he and Flash became good friends.

As an interesting side note, at one stage Chunk sends two scientists on a little tour of some of the dimensions he can access through his powers. After returning from their tour of a number of barren, inhospitable wastelands, the scientists speculate: "It's as if an infinite series of worlds, just like Earth... all inhabiting the same space-time continuum, had been crushed together and destroyed in some unimaginable cataclysm!" Sound familiar?

To the plethora of writeups for this linguistically ambiguous word, I add one more piece of pop-culture trivia.

"Chunk" was also the nickname commonly used to reference Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen in the 1985 teen-flick, Goonies. Portrayed by actor Jeff Cohen, Chunk was the roly-poly, generally jovial kid in the film (even when incessantly teased), whose philia-styled affection for the deformed "Sloth" was well-documented.

While his own name has faded somewhat into obscurity over the years, Jeff Cohen's performance in his role as Chunk, has virtually cemented, both visually and culturally, the hilarious-yet-humiliating "Truffle Shuffle" dance into the collective American mind and lexicon.



Some assistance for this writeup provided by the Goonies entry at IMDB.com

Chunk (?), n. [Cf. Chump.]

A short, thick piece of anything.

[Colloq. U. S. & Prov. Eng.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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