\ 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 Curry dishes include beef cheeks with sweet potato and Filipino curry; poached shrimp and bok choy in a coconut Thai curry flavored with kaffir lime leaf; and seasonal vegetables in a sour yellow coconut curry. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "First look: Politan Row dining hall in Rice Village," 7 Nov. 2019 He was born the week a heat wave broke at the height of summer in 1919, a third blue-eyed Halvey baby, dressed in white pinafores and smiling with full cheeks. Kiley Bense, Longreads, "Whose Boots on the Ground," 7 Nov. 2019 Some are involved: halibut cheek with ginger mint and savory blossoms, served on a nasturtium leaf. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "I’d Never Even Heard of Bite House, Now I’ll Never Forget It," 7 Nov. 2019 There were more cheeks to be kissed, and work to be done. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Tarnished by Epstein Scandal, Power Publicist Peggy Siegal Attempts a Hollywood Comeback," 6 Nov. 2019 There's a hearty, slightly spiced and caramelized poutine — Belgian-style fries mixed with shreddings of beef cheek. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, "Mixtape: Dining Review," 1 Nov. 2019 The lesson for opponents is don’t be fooled by those rosy cheeks. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Avs’ Cale Makar celebrates 21st birthday with increased physicality: “He’s got a little edge to his game”," 31 Oct. 2019 The look’s latest champion, Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga, introduced a phalanx of these human anomalies in his spring 2020 show, all chalky complexions and vulcanized lips and with prosthetics augmenting their otherwise sunken cheeks. New York Times, "It’s Halloween. Here’s What’s Haunting the Runways.," 29 Oct. 2019 Her dad and Pink's husband, Carey Hart, shared a photo of his daughter getting her hair cut with one side of her head completely shaved while the rest of her blonde locks fall across one cheek. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, "Kourtney Kardashian defends son Reign's long hair: 'He is a happy boy'," 29 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Hides from cows, which are lower quality than those of steers, have fallen to only about 5% of the value of all byproducts — worth less than tongues and cheek meat. Los Angeles Times, "America is obsessed with beef. But it has no use for hides, so leather prices plunge," 19 Aug. 2019 Hides from cows, which are lower quality than those of steers, have fallen to only about 5% of the value of all byproducts—worth less than tongues and cheek meat. Lydia Mulvany, Fortune, "There’s a Cowhide Glut, As Americans Devour Beef and Leather Falls Out of Fashion," 9 Aug. 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 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

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

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cheek.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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

Comments on cheek

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