OTHER WORDS FROM cheekycheek·i·ly, adverbcheek·i·ness, noun
Words nearby cheeky
What does cheeky mean?
Cheeky means bold, brash, and a bit rude, but also maybe a little playful and amusing.
Cheeky is an adjective that is typically used to describe a person or their actions or comments. It is most commonly used in the U.K., but it is frequently used elsewhere as well.
Example: During her speech, she managed to sneak in a cheeky remark about her previous employer.
Where does cheeky come from?
The first records of cheeky come from the mid-1800s. It is formed by adding the adjective suffix -y to the noun cheek, meaning “brashness” or “impudence.” (Someone who’s cheeky might point out that cheek also means “one side of the buttocks.”)
Cheeky is often defined with stuffy words like insolent, impudent, and impertinent, but it often implies a sense of playfulness. Cheeky people may be brash, but describing them as cheeky often means we enjoy their irreverence or mischievousness because it’s funny, silly, or clever. If you describe a comment as cheeky, you probably mean that it’s a little impolite, but you probably don’t think it’s blatantly offensive or overly rude. Cheeky can have many different shades of meaning, especially in the U.K., where it’s most commonly used, and some of them aren’t associated with rudeness. For example, in sports like soccer (football), a cheeky pass is one that’s bold and clever, and probably unconventional in some way.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to cheeky?
- cheekier (comparative adjective)
- cheekiest (superlative adjective)
- cheek (noun)
- cheekiness (noun)
- cheekily (adverb)
What are some synonyms for cheeky?
What are some words that often get used in discussing cheeky?
How is cheeky used in real life?
Cheeky is most often used in descriptions of comments or actions that are a bit irreverent but are still lighthearted.
Corbyn making a few cheeky comments about party donations during his speech: "I don’t have to play tennis with an oligarch to keep our party organisation running."
— Shehab Khan (@ShehabKhan) September 26, 2018
I know the #RoyalWedding is not for everyone, but we all saw Harry lose his Mum so young, then grow up into this kind, cheeky, thoughtful guy. Now he’s found this incredible woman, and it brings a tear to my cynical eye. Have a great day everyone (also, enjoy the cup final).
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) May 19, 2018
I heard a couple arguing outside my window so I opened it to have a cheeky look but they saw me and I banged my head on the frame in shock 💀
— Phil Lester (@AmazingPhil) February 19, 2017
Try using cheeky!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym for cheeky?
How to use cheeky in a sentence
This includes the radically redesigned Kia Sorento, a midsize crossover that blends the burly styling of a full-size Telluride with the cheeky curves of a compact Sportage.
A cleverer show might have been able to bridge the gap between these two options, using more than just cheeky string quartets and a missing prince to signal its intentions toward historical accuracy.
The essay, which has been reprinted in collections of Kael’s work, was titled “Raising Kane” — a cheeky reference to the idiom “raising Cain,” which means to cause a ruckus or raise hell.The tangled history behind David Fincher’s Mank — and its link to Citizen Kane — explained|Alissa Wilkinson|December 4, 2020|Vox
Among the deaf cast members, Ahmed’s sign name was a variation on “f---up,” a cheeky nod to his learning curve.Riz Ahmed knows his worth. With the gut-wrenching ‘Sound of Metal,’ he ensures you do, too.|Sonia Rao|December 3, 2020|Washington Post
Now, like a cheeky photo bomber, Apple’s orb bobs in the marina and uses Safdie’s towers as dramatic backdrop.Apple’s ‘most ambitious’ new store is a departure from its signature design|claychandler|September 8, 2020|Fortune
Ricky Gervais, the sultan of scorn, uttered that cheeky bit while emceeing the Golden Globes ceremony a few years back.The Golden Globes Sobers Up (Sort Of): Years of Ridicule and Bribery Rumors Scares HFPA Straight|Marlow Stern|December 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The revival swept in glam costumes, elegant choreography, and cheeky fun, sometimes weaving in social commentary.Best Career Arc Ever: From Burlesque To Bartending|Anne Berry|September 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Greaves and a handful of friends founded it in January as a vehicle for a cheeky, in-your-face brand of political theater.
It was the cataclysmic collision of spitfire upstart performer, brilliant pop song, and cheeky music video.Britney Spears’s ‘…Baby One More Time’ Turns 15: The Making of an Iconic Music Video|Kevin Fallon|October 23, 2013|DAILY BEAST
They convey clearly, in a cheeky, campy kind of way, what the site is all about— getting the lowest price possible.
The nice new house was expecting them, and a cheeky, pimply German page-boy took their packages up.The Devourers|Annie Vivanti Chartres
Her nose was quite four inches higher in the air by the end of the season, in fact she presented the most cheeky appearance.The Sportswoman's Library, v. 2|Various
Some of our new men have the manners of a cheeky young chawbacon on a gate.
It's awfully interesting, because we work in the Huns' front-yard in a way, and it seems so cheeky somehow.The Story of Our Submarines|John Graham Bower
He had leaned his arms upon the table, and now he smiled up at her like a mischievous, cheeky school‑boy.The Silver Butterfly|Mrs. Wilson Woodrow