Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Nautical, so as to be drawn or hauled close together, in such a manner as to hinder or prevent motion.
  • Nautical, jammed: said of a tackle when the blocks are hauled close together.
  • Crowded; crammed full: as, the meeting-hall was chock-a-block.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Naut.) Hoisted as high as the tackle will admit; brought close together, as the two blocks of a tackle in hoisting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective nautical (of a ship's hoisting tackle) Having the blocks drawn close together so no further movement is possible, as when the tackle is hauled to the utmost.
  • adjective by extension Jammed tightly together; very crowded; completely filled or stuffed.
  • adverb In a crowded manner; as completely or closely as possible.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective packed full to capacity
  • adverb as completely as possible

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

chock + a + block

Examples

  • As Macdonald points out, primitive life could have survived global glaciation: "modern-day ice cracks off Antarctica are 'chockablock' with single-celled life-forms," he told National Geographic.

    The Tech Report: News

  • In fact, the Danish capital is chockablock with exciting new restaurants, many of which are helmed by former Noma chefs and after sampling a few, I can see why many gourmands feel the world's most dynamic dining scene revolves around Denmark.

    Jill Fergus: Copenhagen Dining Beyond Noma

  • It suggests a cinematic blockbuster extravaganza chockablock with enough aesthetic resources to last at least one Academy Awards season.

    James Scarborough: A Meta-Narrative for the "Sharjah Biennial 10: Plot For A Biennial," Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  • Instead of providing a low-tax, low-regulation, business-friendly environment for all comers, the city is chockablock with special zones and industrial parks whose tax revenues go to other government-directed investment projects.

    Democrats and Dying Cities

  • It suggests a cinematic blockbuster extravaganza chockablock with enough aesthetic resources to last at least one Academy Awards season.

    James Scarborough: A Meta-Narrative for the "Sharjah Biennial 10: Plot For A Biennial," Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  • "Rango" is so chockablock with "film within a film" talk - is that a "Steamboat Bill Jr." or "North by Northwest" reference whizzing past?

    Land of allusion: 'Rango' is a double-barreled valentine to Hollywood

  • My analogy was if our soldiers targeted with teargas and potientially incendiary material an area known to be chockablock full of women and children.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Waco

  • At the opposite end of the Usine gallery is the couple's private headquarters, with two small bedrooms "If it were up to me, I'd live in a completely empty, white bedroom!" says the artist, an open-plan kitchen with a counter of 20-centimeter-thick steel, shiny stainless steel floors and a living room/office chockablock with prized pieces by Mr. Venet's wide circle of artist friends from the Minimalist and New Realist schools.

    Venet: A French Artist and His Domain

  • Arranged as a journey from postmodernism's beginnings as an architectural revolt and recapturing of history, and passing through spaces shaped like vectors, the exhibition is chockablock with material at all scales—from the tiniest polished-steel spoon with Mickey Mouse ears to the true-to-size reproduction of the towering "historical" columns from the 1980 architecture biennale in Venice.

    History, Repeating Itself

  • They are also a classic comic pair in a production that's chockablock with vivid characters: Elizabeth Reaser as Buddy's wife, Beth; Collette Wolfe as Matt's wife, Sandra; Louisa Krause as a droll motel desk clerk.

    Nervy 'Young Adult' Dazzles by the Book

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