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Chubby vs. Chunky: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on September 28, 2023
Chubby refers to a slightly plump or rounded appearance, often in a cute manner, while chunky describes something as bulky, heavy, or not finely textured.

Key Differences

Chubby primarily refers to a somewhat overweight or plump appearance, often used to describe individuals, especially children. This term often conveys a sense of roundness or fullness in physical form, possibly presenting an adorable or endearing quality. On the other hand, chunky is used to describe objects or substances that are thick, heavy, and often bulky, such as chunky shoes or chunky peanut butter, indicating a lack of refinement in texture or form.
Chubby can suggest a moderate amount of excess weight that often does not carry serious health implications. It is a term that is usually used in a less formal or more familiar context and can sometimes be used affectionately. Conversely, chunky can be used to describe the consistency of a mixture containing large pieces, such as a chunky soup, implying that the components are not smoothly blended or finely divided.
Chubby conveys a physical attribute mostly associated with living beings, suggesting plumpness or a fuller figure. It does not usually imply any judgement about the character or capabilities of the person described as such. Chunky, meanwhile, is a more versatile adjective, describing the texture, form, or appearance of inanimate objects, food, or even patterns, highlighting the presence of large, often irregular, pieces or elements.
Using the term chubby can be subjective and may be perceived as insensitive in certain contexts, especially when addressing adults, as it relates to body appearance. Chunky, being more versatile and less personal, does not usually have this concern, as it can be used to describe the appearance or texture of various items or substances, without referring to a personal characteristic. The term chunky often implies robustness and a substantial, hearty appearance or consistency.

Comparison Chart


Slightly plump or rounded appearance
Bulky, heavy, or not finely textured


Describes living beings, primarily humans
Describes objects, substances, or food


Often considered endearing or cute
Implies robustness or substantial consistency


More personal and related to appearance
More versatile, can describe texture or appearance


Can be sensitive if used for adults
Less personal and usually not sensitive

Chubby and Chunky Definitions


Having a plump and rounded appearance.
The chubby baby giggled as he played with his toys.


Consisting of large, thick pieces.
I prefer chunky peanut butter over the smooth variety.


Possessing excess body fat.
The boy’s chubby cheeks were pinched by his affectionate grandmother.


Hearty and substantial in consistency or composition.
The chunky knit sweater kept her warm throughout the winter.


Moderately overweight.
The puppy was chubby and adorable with its excess puppy fat.


Bulky and solid or sturdy in form or build.
He wore a pair of chunky boots that seemed suitable for hiking.


Full or rounded in shape.
She has a chubby face with rosy cheeks.


Robust and compact in structure.
The furniture had a chunky design, giving a sense of sturdiness.


Rounded and plump.


Short and thick; stocky.


(Informal) A chubby person.


Heavy or bulky; blocky
Chunky shoes.
Chunky gold jewelry.


Of a person: slightly overweight, somewhat fat, and hence plump, rounded, and soft.
Obviously the chubby child was eating too much.


Containing small thick pieces
Chunky peanut butter.
Chunky soup.


Of a body part: containing a moderate amount of fat.
It’s quite normal for babies to have chubby cheeks.


Having chunks.
I ate a chunky bar of chocolate.


A chubby, plump person


I prefer chunky blonde girls to skinny brunettes.


An overweight or obese gay man.


Of a cat: having a large, solid bodyline.
The British Shorthair has a distinctively chunky body, dense coat and broad face.


Like a chub; plump, short, and thick.


Alternative form of chunkey.


Euphemisms for slightly fat;
A generation ago...buxom actresses were popular
Chubby babies
Pleasingly plump


Short and thick.


Having a pleasingly plump figure.
The chubby toddler waddled across the room to get her toy.


Like or containing small stick lumps;
The dumplings were chunky pieces of uncooked dough


Short and thick; as e.g. having short legs and heavy musculature;
Some people seem born to be square and chunky
A dumpy little dumpling of a woman
Dachshunds are long lowset dogs with drooping ears
A little church with a squat tower
A squatty red smokestack
A stumpy ungainly figure


Not smooth or fine in texture or composition.
The soup was chunky, filled with vegetables and meat.


Can “Chubby” be considered offensive when used for adults?

Yes, “Chubby” can be considered insensitive when referring to adults as it relates to body weight.

Can “Chunky” describe the texture of food?

Absolutely, “Chunky” is commonly used to describe food with large, solid pieces.

Can “Chunky” refer to the consistency of a mixture?

Definitely, “Chunky” can describe a mixture that contains large, solid pieces.

Is “Chubby” primarily related to physical appearance?

Yes, “Chubby” is primarily used to describe a plump or rounded physical appearance.

Is “Chubby” usually used to describe children?

Yes, “Chubby” is often used affectionately to describe children with a plump appearance.

Is “Chunky” used to describe sturdy and robust objects?

Yes, “Chunky” often describes objects that are bulky, sturdy, and robust in structure.

Is it inappropriate to call someone “Chubby”?

It can be, as calling someone “Chubby” can be perceived as commenting negatively on their body.

Can “Chubby” be used affectionately?

Yes, “Chubby” can be used affectionately, especially when describing babies or young children.

Is “Chunky” only used to describe solid objects?

No, “Chunky” can describe anything with a thick or bulky appearance or texture, not just solid objects.

Is the use of “Chubby” subjective?

Yes, whether someone is described as “Chubby” can be subjective and vary based on individual perspectives.

Can “Chunky” describe patterns and designs?

Yes, “Chunky” can describe patterns and designs that feature large, bold elements.

Can “Chunky” relate to clothing items?

Yes, “Chunky” can describe clothing items like sweaters or shoes that are bulky or have a robust design.

Can “Chunky” describe the design of furniture?

Absolutely, “Chunky” can refer to furniture with a compact, robust design featuring thick elements.

Should “Chubby” be avoided in formal communication?

It’s advisable, as “Chubby” can be perceived as informal and potentially insensitive in formal contexts.

Does “Chubby” always imply being overweight?

Not necessarily, “Chubby” often refers to a rounded appearance and can be used affectionately without implying serious overweight.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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