- either side of the face below the eye and above the jaw.
- the side wall of the mouth between the upper and lower jaws.
- something resembling the side of the human face in form or position, as either of two parts forming corresponding sides of various objects: the cheeks of a vise.
- impudence or effrontery: He's got a lot of cheek to say that to me!
- Slang. either of the buttocks.
- one side of an opening, as a reveal.
- either of two similar faces of a projection, as a buttress or dormer.
- a piece of wood removed from the end of a timber in making a tenon.
- a piece of wood on either side of a mortise.
- one side of a hammer head.
- Horology. one of two pieces placed on both sides of the suspension spring of a pendulum to control the amplitude of oscillation or to give the arc of the pendulum a cycloidal form.
- one of the two main vertical supports forming the frame of a hand printing press.
- Machinery. either of the sides of a pulley or block.
- Nautical. either of a pair of fore-and-aft members at the lower end of the head of a lower mast, used to support trestletrees which in turn support a top and often the heel of a topmast; one of the hounds of a lower mast.
- Metallurgy. any part of a flask between the cope and the drag.
- cheek by jowl, in close intimacy; side by side: a row of houses cheek by jowl.
- (with) tongue in cheek. tongue(def 37).
Origin of cheek
SynonymsSee more synonyms for cheek on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cheeks
Now in his early thirties, his cheeks are sunken from smoking too much hash.Obama’s Deadly Informants: The Drone Spotters of Pakistan
Umar Farooq, Syed Fakhar Kakakhel
November 12, 2014
I could feel the fat of my cheeks trying to escape as she held me still to mark me with red lipstick.My ‘Kink’ Nightmare: James Franco’s BDSM Porn Documentary ‘Kink’ Only Tells Part of the Story
August 30, 2014
I stared at her photo until I began to feel tears rolls down my cheeks.The Names You Don’t Hear: Nearly 200 Women Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan
May 26, 2014
When it started to become more than that and my cheeks started to sink in and stuff like that, I thought it would be best to go.Matt Bomer Tells the Personal Story Behind His Heartbreaking ‘Normal Heart’ Performance
May 21, 2014
Swish it, especially around the cheeks and upper palate, and pull it through your teeth.Oil Pulling: Miracle Cure or Oily Mess?
March 28, 2014
A ghost of color was going up her throat, staining her cheeks.Way of the Lawless
"I am not afraid of anything," Gracie said, eyes aglow as well as cheeks.
The glow on her cheeks was not all caused by the fresh air of the spring day.
Garson relaxed his immobility, and a little color crept into his cheeks.
Mary was standing rigid now, and the rare color flamed in her cheeks.
- either side of the face, esp that part below the eye
- either side of the oral cavity; side of the mouthRelated adjectives: buccal, genal, malar
- informal impudence; effrontery
- (often plural) informal either side of the buttocks
- (often plural) a side of a door jamb
- nautical one of the two fore-and-aft supports for the trestletrees on a mast of a sailing vessel, forming part of the hounds
- one of the jaws of a vice
- cheek by jowl close together; intimately linked
- turn the other cheek to be submissive and refuse to retaliate even when provoked or treated badly
- with one's tongue in one's cheek See tongue (def. 19)
- (tr) informal to speak or behave disrespectfully to; act impudently towards
Word Origin and History for cheeks
"the buttocks," c.1600; see cheek.
Old English ceace, cece "jaw, jawbone," in late Old English also "the fleshy wall of the mouth." Perhaps from the root of Old English ceowan "chew" (see chew (v.)), or from Proto-Germanic *kaukon (cf. Middle Low German kake "jaw, jawbone," Middle Dutch kake "jaw," Dutch kaak), not found outside West Germanic.
Words for "cheek," "jaw," and "chin" tend to run together in IE languages (e.g. PIE *genw-, source of Greek genus "jaw, cheek," geneion "chin," and English chin); Aristotle considered the chin as the front of the "jaws" and the cheeks as the back of them. The other Old English word for "cheek" was ceafl (see jowl).
A thousand men he [Samson] slow eek with his hond,
And had no wepen but an asses cheek.
[Chaucer, "Monk's Tale"]
In reference to the buttocks from c.1600. Sense of "insolence" is from 1840, perhaps from a notion akin to that which led to jaw "insolent speech," mouth off, etc. To turn the other cheek is an allusion to Matt. v:39 and Luke vi:29.
- The fleshy part of either side of the face below the eye and between the nose and ear.
- Either of the buttocks.
Idioms and Phrases with cheeks
In addition to the idiom beginning with cheek
- cheek by jowl
- tongue in cheek
- turn the other cheek