\ 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 cheekful (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


He kissed her on the cheek. He's got a cheek ignoring us like that.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Underneath them, in a nearby train station, hordes of fans lined up in front of a face-painting station, adding splashes of color to their cheeks despite the 90-plus degree heat. Ashley Scoby, Pro Soccer USA, "U.S., France atmosphere lives up to hype in World Cup prize fight," 29 June 2019 For actress Hailie Sahar, this truth is a birthmark on the left side of her face, which greets her rosy red cheeks gently like a lovely kiss. Fatima Jamal, Allure, "Pose Star Hailie Sahar Reveals Her Facial Birthmark For the Very First Time," 27 June 2019 The brown blotches of heartbreak from defeats to AC Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona were on his cheeks., "Gianluigi Buffon: The Old Man & the UEFA Champions League," 26 June 2019 Tears rolled down his cheeks as Antetokounmpo thanked his mother and brothers who were in the audience at Barker Hanger. Beth Harris, Houston Chronicle, "Teary-eyed Giannis Antetokounmpo wins NBA MVP honors," 25 June 2019 Tears rolled down his cheeks as Antetokounmpo thanked his mother Veronica and brothers in the audience at Barker Hanger. CBS News, "Giannis Antetokounmpo wins NBA MVP honors, cries as he thanks family," 25 June 2019 All of us are going to show up with glittery heart to the tour huh.!!!!💕🤧 — Diana (CUZ SHADE NEVER MADE ANYBODY LESS GAY.!) (@Diana11485161) June 13, 2019 Normal people: Put the glittery heart on your cheek Taylor! Rachel Lubitz,, "Taylor Swift's Makeup On Her Lover Album Cover Is Already Inspiring Fans," 14 June 2019 With his powdered wig, his burning black eyes, his bulbous forehead, and his cheeks pitted with smallpox, Goethe must have been a terrifying spectacle. Andrew Roberts, The New York Review of Books, "Ferdinand Mount," 6 June 2019 And making the case for a strong contour was Emily Ratajkowski, accenting her chiseled cheeks with dark smoky eyes and a cascade of chestnut waves. Akili King, Vogue, "The Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Aweng Chuol, Margot Robbie, and More," 26 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lydia was played by Winona Ryder, then an apple-cheeked 17-year-old in one of her first-ever movie roles, the beginning of Ryder's reign as the poster child of offbeat rebellion. Nojan Aminosharei, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beetlejuice's Sophia Anne Caruso Is Bringing Goth to Broadway," 17 Apr. 2019 Three years later, with apartment buildings now cheek-by-jowl with the club, those same residents, joined by dozens more, raised concerns in emails and public meetings about potential noise from the roof. Alan Neuhauser, Washington Post, "A D.C. strip club reopens to a changed neighborhood — of high-end condos and artisanal toast," 25 June 2018 Called Casting Couch, the piece depicts a paunchy, stubble-cheeked Weinstein seated on a chaise lounge in silk pajamas. Gwynedd Stuart, Los Angeles Magazine, "How That Sculpture of Harvey Weinstein That Was Planted in Hollywood Got Made," 4 Apr. 2018 The soldiers were hollow-cheeked and drenched in sweat despite the sub-zero temperatures and the bitter wind in Paju, just 10 miles from South Korea's border with the North. Mac William Bishop, NBC News, "North Korean ex-assassin recalls 1968: ‘The year that mattered most’," 26 Jan. 2018 Some of the old folks dance cheek to cheek, barely moving to the rhythm. Kate Siber, USA TODAY, "Dance hall days: Texas preserves a treasured tradition," 25 Sep. 2017 On the deck of his trawler, Adam Stanwood—a barrel-chested, apple-cheeked fisherman in his 40s—uncovers a black plastic tray about two-and-a-half feet by one-and-a-half. National Geographic, "Why Smuggling of This Ocean Creature May Skyrocket," 2 June 2017 The twins relax and hug each other, cheek pressed to cheek. Andrea Simakis,, "When love and loss are multiplied - remembering a brother at Twins Days: Andrea Simakis," 13 Aug. 2017 Learn about the history of some of your favorite brands, what makes champagne, well, champagne, and leave a little rosy-cheeked after a delightful tasting. Christina Liao, Vogue, "Why You Should Go to Champagne, France—And All the Houses You Should Visit," 31 July 2017

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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Statistics for cheek

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for cheek

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on cheek

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheek

Spanish Central: Translation of cheek

Nglish: Translation of cheek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cheek for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cheek

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