\ 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

Noun He kissed her on the cheek. He's got a cheek ignoring us like that.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Aside from her eye area, Kim also uses the chilled kitchen utensil to depuff her cheeks and sculpt her jawline. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Irene Kim Showed How She Uses a Cold Spoon to Depuff Her Eye Area," 1 May 2020 Once, after taking off in China’s Taklamakan desert, Steinmetz woke on the ground with his teeth jutting through his cheek. Laura Mallonee, Wired, "George Steinmetz's Bird's-Eye View of the Earth," 22 Apr. 2020 And thankfully for my cheeks, Millie Bobby Brown has now released just the thing. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Millie Bobby Brown Just Dropped Two New Florence by Mills Highlighters and My Face is SO Ready," 20 Apr. 2020 Keep your head down and dig your cheek deeply into the shotgun’s stock. Michael Hanback, Outdoor Life, "25 Top Spring Turkey Hunting Tips," 20 Apr. 2020 Underneath the beard, his cheeks appear gaunt and sunken when compared to his typical look. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Fans express worry about ‘Black Panther’ star’s apparent weight loss," 16 Apr. 2020 There's these little bangs with little curls that come around her cheeks. Hugh Hart, Fortune, "How ‘Mrs. America’ designers revived a ’70s feminist showdown," 14 Apr. 2020 Schneider also punctured Lebechuck's lung and sliced all the way through his cheek, chipping one of Lebechuck’s teeth, the affidavit said. oregonlive, "Portland homeless man who stabbed resident 17 times after being asked to camp elsewhere is sentenced to psychiatric hospital," 13 Apr. 2020 Bunnies mated on his right forearm, a spiderweb graced his left shoulder and a red cardinal adorned his cheek. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Controversial Larry Bird mural has been painted over with healthcare worker tribute," 13 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Latin America: Also cheek-kiss people, but sometimes just the one cheek. Emily Flake, The New Yorker, "The Eurohug, Is It a Thing?: A Global Guide to Embrace," 7 Oct. 2019 Meris Carmichael wants to lure the rain to Arizona in a tongue-and-cheek way. Felicia Fonseca,, "People across Southwest long for seasonal rainstorms," 30 Aug. 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

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cheek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for cheek


How to pronounce cheek (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheek

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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