\ 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

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 clip's opening quotes became heavily used on social media for both tongue-in-cheek and genuine compliments, but the rest of the video saw Obama compliment the depth of Homecoming and its potential cultural impact. Jack Irvin,, 22 June 2022 To an extent, much of the discourse surrounding whether pandas are real or not is tongue-in-cheek. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 22 June 2022 When Brian Kemp ran for governor of Georgia in 2018, one tongue-in-cheek ad showed him in a room full of firearms, leveling a shotgun near a young man interested in dating his daughter. New York Times, 18 June 2022 Its tongue-in-cheek sensibility came through anyway, poking at horror tropes with clever visual gags and a comically oversized power drill. Katie Rife,, 17 June 2022 For a cheeky statement, try this belt by Moschino, the tongue-in-cheek Italian fashion house that’s now helmed by designer Jeremy Scott. Celia Shatzman, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 June 2022 Netflix's take on the classic Austen tale is Fleabag meets empire waistlines; throughout, Anne exchanges knowing, tongue-in-cheek glances with the camera, breaking the fourth wall to wink at feelings of incredulity or schadenfreude. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 June 2022 The drugs in question have tongue-in-cheek designer-pharmaceutical-sounding names, like Luvactin™ and Darkenfloxx™, complete with tiny trademark symbols. Peter Debruge, Variety, 13 June 2022 And yes, the suggestion seems clearly tongue-in-cheek and ludicrous. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 12 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The line, out March 21, comprises eight product types: eye shadow palettes, potted gel eye shadows, eye gloss, false eyelashes, cheek and lip stains, a face mist, and a makeup primer just for the undereyes. Allure, 16 Mar. 2022 There's also support for Spotify Tap, a relatively new feature that lets subscribers of that streaming service directly launch the app and swap between playlists with a few button (or cheek, in this case) presses. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, 15 Feb. 2022 The department posted photos of the small brown and black mammal crouching fearfully in a mesh crate after capture, with bloody wounds on its nose, cheek and forehead. Tiffini Theisen,, 18 Jan. 2022 The collection, available on Amazon, features eyeliner, lip glazes, cheek and lip tints, highlighter, and a set of mini lipsticks. Christina Butan,, 24 Nov. 2021 Because many of the questions will be subjective, the researchers think the city should push the envelope and take hair or fingernail samples and saliva or cheek swabs from participants to measure their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Rebecca Lurye,, 1 Nov. 2021 People were seen dining al fresco and sunbathing, cheek to jowl. New York Times, 21 July 2021 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, 12 Apr. 2021 Some testing sites may ask you to swab your nose or cheek yourself, or spit into a tube. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, 3 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cheek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for cheek


\ 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


transitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cheek

Nglish: Translation of cheek for Spanish Speakers

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


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