adjective, chees·i·er, chees·i·est.

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 formschees·i·ly, adverbchees·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cheesy

Contemporary Examples of cheesy

Historical Examples of cheesy

  • The bread was sour and the Italian butter rank and cheesy—often uneatable.

    Samuel Butler: A Sketch

    Henry Festing Jones

  • In either event, so Cheesy was assured, he, could have his wish gratified.

    Sundry Accounts

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • It goes through the hamper, and gives a cheesy flavour to everything else there.

    Three Men in a Boat

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • It is a white, cheesy material, with a slight flavor of tallow.

  • Cheesy is the best fellow in the world in some respects, but he cannot bring himself to speak well of a fellow behind his back.

    Can You Forgive Her?

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for cheesy


adjective cheesier or cheesiest

like cheese in flavour, smell, or consistency
informal (of a smile) broad but possibly insincerea big cheesy grin
informal banal or trite; in poor taste
Derived Formscheesiness, 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

Word Origin and History for cheesy

"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