Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope

Thunk may refer to any of the following:

1. In computer programming, thunk was a helper subroutine designed by Peter Ingerman in 1961 for the ALGOL (algorithmic language) programming language. It was called "thunk" as a playful past tense of "think," because it calculated a subroutine's result before passing the value. Thunks enabled a programmer to pass parameters by name rather than value and were an important step in designing programming languages and compilers.

2. A thunk is a stubroutine in an overlay programming environment that loads and jumps to the correct overlay.

3. Term sometimes used by users to describe a loud noise. For example, the computer hard drive made a loud thunk and stopped working.

Programming terms