\ ˈchēk How to pronounce cheek (audio) \

Definition of cheek

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the fleshy side of the face below the eye and above and to the side of the mouth broadly : the lateral aspect of the head
2 : something suggestive of the human cheek in position or form especially : one of two laterally paired parts
3 : insolent boldness and self-assurance


cheeked; cheeking; cheeks

Definition of cheek (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

chiefly British
: to speak rudely or impudently to

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Other Words from cheek


cheekful \ ˈchēk-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce cheek (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for cheek


temerity, audacity, hardihood, effrontery, nerve, cheek, gall, chutzpah mean conspicuous or flagrant boldness. temerity suggests boldness arising from rashness and contempt of danger. had the temerity to refuse audacity implies a disregard of restraints commonly imposed by convention or prudence. an entrepreneur with audacity and vision hardihood suggests firmness in daring and defiance. admired for her hardihood effrontery implies shameless, insolent disregard of propriety or courtesy. outraged at his effrontery nerve, cheek, gall, and chutzpah are informal equivalents for effrontery. the nerve of that guy has the cheek to call herself a singer had the gall to demand proof the chutzpah needed for a career in show business

Examples of cheek in a Sentence

Noun He kissed her on the cheek. He's got a cheek ignoring us like that.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The wounded man was grazed on the cheek and struck twice in shoulder. NBC News, "Employee requested transfer before deadly Long Island grocery store shooting, police say," 21 Apr. 2021 The commenter’s profile picture showed her kissing a fat, beautiful baby on the cheek. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen Lost Her Child. Now, She’s Doing A Fertility Campaign.," 20 Apr. 2021 The woman, who says Cuomo engaged in a two-year flirtation that began with overly tight hugs and kisses on the cheek, had been summoned to the mansion to assist the governor with a cellphone problem. New York Times, "Andrew Cuomo’s White-Knuckle Ride," 13 Apr. 2021 There, Jonas cozied up to his wife and even gave her a peck on the cheek. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Share a Red-Carpet PDA Moment at the 2021 BAFTAs," 12 Apr. 2021 The deputy in stable condition was grazed on the cheek by a bullet and will be released from the hospital on Saturday, according to Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera. Carly Ortiz-lytle, Washington Examiner, "Two deputies shot in Salt Lake City, suspect dead after 'exchange of gunfire'," 10 Apr. 2021 When used correctly, Botox can help opening up the eye and thus achieving an overall fresher look, whilst fillers on cheek or behind the jawline can also help subtly lifting the skin. Angela Lei, Forbes, "The Zero Downtime, Non-Surgical Facelift Everyone Is Talking About," 5 Apr. 2021 After winning best progressive R&B album, Los Angeles bassist Thundercat thanked his mother from his sofa, then turned 90 degrees to smooch her on the cheek. Washington Post, "Megan Thee Stallion, Taylor Swift win big on a Grammy night that felt tastefully small," 15 Mar. 2021 Dua shared a photo of Anwar making her pancakes and later, her kissing him on the cheek. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Dua Lipa and Anwar Hadid's Relationship," 10 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One of my favorite Huggs-Era memories is of the 6-5 Martin slam-dancing chest to cheek with North Carolina’s 7-foot center Eric Montross in an Elite 8 game the Bearcats almost stole. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: Would a promising basketball coach with options want to coach at UC?," 12 Apr. 2021 Some testing sites may ask you to swab your nose or cheek yourself, or spit into a tube. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "Covid-19 Tests: Answers on Cost, Accuracy and Turnaround Time," 3 Sep. 2020 There is, of course, a German word for it: Hamsterkäufe, meaning to shop like a nervous, bulging-cheeked hamster. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "We Are All Irrational Panic Shoppers," 5 Mar. 2020 Wright, a cheerful, apple-cheeked, forty-two-year-old professor with wispy brown hair, is at the vanguard of a new movement in SETI. Adam Mann, The New Yorker, "Intelligent Ways to Search for Extraterrestrials," 3 Oct. 2019 Still, just as the Bears offense readied to head back on the field with Daniel at the controls, Nagy and Trubisky stood cheek to cheek on the sidelines. Dan Wiederer,, "Column: ‘For whatever reason, here’s Chase Daniel.’ That could become the perfect advertisement for the Bears’ final 6 weeks.," 18 Nov. 2019 For instance, one pink-cheeked, shy student at Maurice Wollin excels in reading but recently failed a math test. Kristina Rizga, The Atlantic, "How One School Program in New York Helps Students With Autism," 30 Dec. 2019 Patient, steadfast Inti, round faced and dimple cheeked, rebuke to the macho South American stereotype. Mathina Calliope, Longreads, "The Backcountry Prescription Experiment," 3 Dec. 2019 But the very sound of them gives the flavor of the patchwork of small-town suburbs that sit cheek to cheek in the sprawl. Los Angeles Times, "‘Lodge 49’ is too good for this world. Which is exactly why AMC should keep it around," 15 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cheek.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cheek


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1840, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cheek


Middle English cheke, from Old English cēace; akin to Middle Low German kāke jawbone

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Time Traveler for cheek

Time Traveler

The first known use of cheek was before the 12th century

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Statistics for cheek

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cheek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cheek



English Language Learners Definition of cheek

: the part of the face that is below the eye and to the side of the nose and mouth
British : an attitude or way of behaving that is rude and does not show proper respect
informal : one of the two parts of the body that a person sits on


\ ˈchēk How to pronounce cheek (audio) \

Kids Definition of cheek

1 : the side of the face below the eye and above and to the side of the mouth
2 : disrespectful speech or behavior He was punished for his cheek.


\ ˈchēk \

Medical Definition of cheek

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the fleshy side of the face below the eye and above and to the side of the mouth broadly : the lateral aspect of the head

Medical Definition of cheek (Entry 2 of 2)

: to conceal (medication) in the cheek for future use On March 29, two days before she committed suicide, the staff found she had been "cheeking medications" to save them for a later overdose …— Michael O'D. Moore, The Bangor (Maine) Daily News, 12 July 2000

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Comments on cheek

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