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[chee-zee] /ˈtʃi zi/
adjective, cheesier, cheesiest.
of or like cheese:
a cheesy aroma; a cheesy taste.
Slang. inferior or cheap; chintzy:
The movie's special effects are cheesy and unconvincing.
Origin of cheesy
1350-1400; Middle English. See cheese1, -y1
Related forms
cheesily, adverb
cheesiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for cheesily


adjective cheesier, cheesiest
like cheese in flavour, smell, or consistency
(informal) (of a smile) broad but possibly insincere: a big cheesy grin
(informal) banal or trite; in poor taste
Derived Forms
cheesiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cheesily



"cheese-like," late 14c., from cheese (n.1) + -y (2). Meaning "cheap, inferior" is attested from 1896, perhaps originally U.S. student slang, along with cheese (n.) "an ignorant, stupid person." In late 19c. British slang, cheesy was "fine, showy" (1858), probably from cheese (n.2) and some suggest the modern derogatory use is an "ironic reversal" of this. The word was in common use in medical writing in the late 19c. to describe morbid substances found in tubers, decaying flesh, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cheesily



  1. Lacking in taste; vulgarly unesthetic: an altogether hideous room, expensive but cheesy/ The acting was so cheesy. It was like porn acting (1950s+)
  2. Of inferior workmanship; shoddy: This is accomplished through some really cheesy special effects (1896+)
  3. Shabby; ugly: ''I thought that was kind of cheesy,'' Harding said (1896+)
  4. Not real or genuine; false; fake, phony (1970s+)
  5. (also cheese dog) Out of date, often so appallingly so that it has a certain chic appeal; campy, corny: The runway stuff? Cheese dog./ I included the big hair to cause a little friction. They both almost unanimously referred to it as ''cheesy''/ And the Cheesy Award goes to Tony Bennett (1980s+ Students)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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