cheeky

[ chee-kee ]
/ ˈtʃi ki /

adjective, cheek·i·er, cheek·i·est.

impudent; insolent: a cheeky fellow; cheeky behavior.

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Origin of cheeky

First recorded in 1855–60; cheek + -y1

OTHER WORDS FROM cheeky

cheek·i·ly, adverbcheek·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

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.

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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.

 

 

Try using cheeky!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym for cheeky?

A. brazen
B. fearful
C. bold
D. brash

Example sentences from the Web for cheeky

British Dictionary definitions for cheeky

cheeky
/ (ˈtʃiːkɪ) /

adjective cheekier or cheekiest

disrespectful in speech or behaviour; impudenta cheeky child

Derived forms of cheeky

cheekily, adverbcheekiness, 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