1. To be squeezed or jammed closely together. So many people wanted to see the show that we were chock-a-block inside the venue.
2. To be very full or tightly packed. Your office is chock-a-block with books and boxes. How do you even move around in here! The restaurant has been chock-a-block with guests all day.
3. By extension, to be very busy; to be completely filled or engaged (with something). Every day of our vacation was chock-a-block with fun activities. Now that business has started to pick up, we've been chock-a-block with orders.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
chock-a-block, to be
Also, chock-full. To be very full, tightly jammed together. It was originally a nineteenth-century nautical term, describing the blocks of a tackle drawn so close that they touched. In time it was transferred to objects, people—just about anything very crowded. W. Somerset Maugham used it, “The city’s inns were chock-a-block and men were sleeping three, four and five to a bed” (Then and Now, 1946). The synonymous “chock-full” is much older, dating from the fifteenth century, and actually may be used more often, in such locutions as, “Her paper was chock-full of typos.”
See also: to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer