tongue-in-cheek

adjective
\ ˈtəŋ-in-ˈchēk How to pronounce tongue-in-cheek (audio) \

Definition of tongue-in-cheek

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: characterized by insincerity, irony, or whimsical exaggeration

tongue in cheek

adverb

Definition of tongue in cheek (Entry 2 of 2)

: with insincerity, irony, or whimsical exaggeration

Examples of tongue-in-cheek in a Sentence

Adverb The whole interview was done tongue in cheek.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb That is the second piece of tongue in cheek criticism emanating from the country’s largest cinema chain inside a week. Patrick Frater, Variety, 28 July 2022 And so, there’s a lot of things very much so on this record that are tongue in cheek. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 3 June 2022 And so, there’s a lot of things very much so on this record that are tongue in cheek. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 3 June 2022 Dog stories revolved around displays of hunting prowess by these beloved partners and the friendly and amusing banter that involves grandiose accomplishments told with tongue in cheek. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, 11 June 2022 And so, there’s a lot of things very much so on this record that are tongue in cheek. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 3 June 2022 And so, there’s a lot of things very much so on this record that are tongue in cheek. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 12 May 2022 With that in mind, The Courier Journal offers its annual breakdown of why each horse can and can’t win the Kentucky Derby – many serious, a few tongue in cheek, one destined to be right and one destined to be wrong. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 3 May 2022 With that in mind, The Courier Journal offers its annual breakdown of why each horse can and can’t win the Kentucky Derby – many serious, a few tongue in cheek, one destined to be right and a bunch more destined to be wrong. Jason Frakes, USA TODAY, 3 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tongue-in-cheek.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tongue-in-cheek

Adjective

1899, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1856, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About tongue-in-cheek

Time Traveler for tongue-in-cheek

Time Traveler

The first known use of tongue-in-cheek was in 1856

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near tongue-in-cheek

tongue in cheek

tongue-in-cheek

tongue joint

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tongue-in-cheek

Cite this Entry

“Tongue-in-cheek.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tongue-in-cheek. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on tongue-in-cheek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tongue-in-cheek

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!