cheek

1 of 2

noun

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
4
cheekful noun

cheek

2 of 2

verb

cheeked; cheeking; cheeks

transitive verb

chiefly British
: to speak rudely or impudently to
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 look also included a bright fuschia pink blush across her cheeks and forehead and was finished with matte red lipstick. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 Fox's makeup artist Jenna Kristina used romantic, subtle pink tones on the star's face to mimic her hair color, brushing pastel pink blush on her cheeks and a similar shade on her lips, plus Fox's signature black liner, lush lashes, and bold brows combo. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 12 Feb. 2024 The kids were thrilled and their teacher had tears running down her cheeks. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Feb. 2024 To join the crowds and gently spread black oil on a stranger’s cheek — these moments of communion are the ethos of Carnival. Kristin Braswell, Travel + Leisure, 10 Feb. 2024 However, a driver is not legally obligated to submit to field sobriety tests, pre-arrest breath tests, or cheek swabs at a DUI checkpoint, according to Shouse California Law Group. Angela Rodriguez, Sacramento Bee, 9 Feb. 2024 Shirlee kissed her forehead, her cheeks, then her lips; Theo could double taste her tears. Addie Citchens, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 For her makeup look, the Rare Beauty founder went with rosy cheeks and smokey eyeliner, pulling the entire look together with a glossy red lip. Condé Nast, Glamour, 4 Feb. 2024 Use beef cuts that benefit from long, slow cooking: boneless chuck or shoulder, or cheek. Jamie Schler, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024
Verb
Most Popular Start with the Party Pots Kit, which features three pots of buildable eye, lip, and cheek shimmer in hues Buzz, Click, and Twist. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 27 Nov. 2023 What goals can cheek filler address? Kaitlin Clark, Allure, 9 Feb. 2022 It’s been described as facial deflating given that fat is lost in all areas of the face, unlike buccal or cheek fat removal, which only takes fat out of certain areas of the face. Byalexa Mikhail, Fortune, 27 Jan. 2023 With this hydrating, buildable, multi-tasking stick, you're set with lip and cheek color that's also perfect for on-the-go. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 21 Jan. 2023 Incisors for nipping and gripping, canines for piercing, and cheek teeth for slicing, grinding, crushing, or all three. Riley Black, Discover Magazine, 29 Sep. 2022 Meanwhile, makeup brand Tarte released a collection of color-shifting lip and cheek oils that monitor your moods, currently going viral on the clock app. Shelby Ying Hyde, refinery29.com, 4 Jan. 2023 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cheek.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1840, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near cheek

Cite this Entry

“Cheek.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cheek. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

cheek

noun
ˈchēk
1
: the fleshy side of the face below the eye and above and to the side of the mouth
2
: disrespectful speech or behavior : nerve

Medical Definition

cheek

1 of 2 noun
ˈchēk
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

cheek

2 of 2 transitive verb
: 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

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