cheek


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

with (one's) tongue in (one's) cheek

Humorously or as a joke, though seeming or appearing to be serious. The president gave a speech on April Fools' Day about the "War on Couch Potatoes," which he delivered with his tongue in his cheek. The zombie movie, very much with its tongue in its cheek, gives a clever criticism of American consumerism.
See also: cheek, tongue

tongue-in-cheek

Jocular or humorous, though seeming or appearing to be serious. The president's tongue-in-cheek speech about the "War on Couch Potatoes" has been extremely popular on the Internet this week.

cheek by jowl

Positioned very close together. (The cheek and the jowl—the lower part of the jaw—are in close proximity to each other on the face.) You couldn't fit a piece of paper in the storage room now—all those boxes are stacked in there cheek by jowl.
See also: cheek

(with) tongue in cheek

Humorous or intended as a joke, though seeming or appearing to be serious. I thought it was obvious that my comments were tongue in cheek, but I guess I delivered them with too much of a straight face, because it seems like I offended several people at the party. The zombie movie, very much with tongue in cheek, gives a clever criticism of American consumerism.
See also: cheek, tongue

put the roses in (one's) cheeks

To make someone vigorous and healthful, or to make them appear as such. Nothing will put the roses in your cheeks like a little bit of exercise every day. I drink a small glass of red wine each evening to put the roses in my cheeks.
See also: cheek, put, rose

bring the roses to (one's) cheeks

To make one vigorous and healthful, or to make them appear as such. Nothing will bring the roses to your cheeks like a little bit of exercise every day. I drink a small glass of red wine each evening to bring the roses to my cheeks.
See also: bring, cheek, rose

turn the other cheek

To accept mistreatment without retaliating or seeking revenge. Yes, he was very rude to me, but I know he's not well, so I turned the other cheek.
See also: cheek, other, turn

I like (someone's) nerve

I think this person is audacious, brazen, or sassy. Can be positive or negative. I like her nerve, waltzing back in here like nothing happened. I like your nerve, kid. You're hired.
See also: like, nerve

I like (someone's) cheek

I think this person is audacious, brazen, or sassy. Can be positive or negative. I like her cheek, waltzing back in here like nothing happened. I like your cheek, kid. You're hired.
See also: cheek, like

of all the

Used to express great annoyance, exasperation, impatience, or frustration with someone or something. You put diesel fuel into the car? Of all the stupid, careless things to do—now the car is ruined! Of all the nerve, implying that I'm somehow to blame for the project's failure!
See also: all, of

put the roses back in (one's) cheeks

To make someone appear more vigorous and healthful than they did previously; to return someone to a healthy complexion. Nothing will put the roses back in your cheeks like a little bit trip to the seaside. After a long day, I like to drink a small glass of red wine to put the roses back in my cheeks.
See also: back, cheek, put, rose

the cheek of (someone)!

An exclamation of shocked disapproval regarding something someone said or did. Primarily heard in Ireland. They thought I would just go along with their plan to cut my pay while taking on more responsibility. The cheek of them! The cheek of you—how dare you suggest something so horrible!
See also: cheek, of

cheek by jowl

Fig. side by side; close together. The pedestrians had to walk cheek by jowl along the narrow streets. The two families lived cheek by jowl in one house.
See also: cheek

tongue-in-cheek

Fig. insincere; joking. Ann made a tongue-in-cheek remark to John, and he got mad because he thought she was serious. The play seemed very serious at first, but then everyone saw that it was tongue-in-cheek, and they began laughing.

turn the other cheek

Fig. to ignore abuse or an insult. When Bob got mad at Mary and yelled at her, she just turned the other cheek. Usually I turn the other cheek when someone is rude to me.
See also: cheek, other, turn

cheek by jowl

Side by side, close together, as in In that crowded subway car we stood cheek by jowl, virtually holding one another up. This term dates from the 16th century, when it replaced cheek by cheek.
See also: cheek

tongue in cheek, with

Ironically or as a joke, as in Was he speaking with tongue in cheek when he said Sally should run for president? This term probably alludes to the facial expression produced by poking one's tongue in one's cheek, perhaps to suppress a smile. [First half of 1800s]
See also: tongue

turn the other cheek

Respond meekly or mildly to insult or injury without retaliating. For example, There's no point in arguing with that unreasonable supervisor; just turn the other cheek . This expression comes from the New Testament, in which Jesus tells his followers to love their enemies and offer their other cheek to those who have struck one cheek (Luke 6:29).
See also: cheek, other, turn

cheek by jowl

COMMON If people or things are cheek by jowl, they are very close together, especially in a way that seems strange. The two communities had lived cheek by jowl. The houses of the rich and poor stood cheek by jowl. Note: `Jowl' is an old-fashioned word for `cheek'.
See also: cheek

turn the other cheek

COMMON If you turn the other cheek when someone harms or insults you, you do not take action against them in return. Ian must learn to turn the other cheek, no matter what the provocation. If they refuse to deal with these racists, we will take matters into our own hands. The days of turning the other cheek are long over. Note: This expression comes from Jesus's words to His followers in the Bible: `Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.' (Matthew 5:39)
See also: cheek, other, turn

tongue in cheek

COMMON If a remark or piece of writing is tongue in cheek, it is meant to be funny and is not meant to be taken seriously. I think people are taking all this more seriously than we intended. It was supposed to be tongue in cheek. Note: You can also say that someone is talking or writing with tongue in cheek or with their tongue in their cheek. If Howard said that, it must have been with tongue in cheek. Labour MPs, some with their tongue firmly in their cheeks, judged the result to have been a great success. Note: Tongue-in-cheek can also be used before a noun. The advert was meant to be a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek approach. We never intended to offend anyone.
See also: cheek, tongue

cheek by jowl

close together; side by side.
Jowl here is used in the sense ‘cheek’; the phrase was originally cheek by cheek .
See also: cheek

turn the other cheek

refrain from retaliating when you have been attacked or insulted.
This expression comes from Matthew 5:39: ‘But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also’.
See also: cheek, other, turn

(with) tongue in cheek

speaking or writing in an ironic or insincere way.
This expression originated in the fuller form put or thrust your tongue in your cheek , meaning ‘speak insincerely’. At one time, putting your tongue in your cheek could also be a gesture of contempt, but that shade of meaning has disappeared from the modern idiom.
See also: cheek, tongue

of ˌall the ˈcheek, ˈnerve, stupid things to ˈdo, etc.!

(informal) used to express annoyance, impatience, etc. at what another person has done or said: Of all the idiots, leaving his car unlocked in the middle of town!
This expression is often used without a noun, especially to show that somebody is annoyed: She said I was fat? Well, of all the ...!
See also: all, of, stupid, thing

ˌcheek by ˈjowl (with somebody/something)

side by side (with somebody/something); very near: If he’d known that he was to find himself seated cheek by jowl with his old enemy he wouldn’t have attended the dinner.
The jowl is the lower part of the cheek and so the cheek and the jowl are next to each other.
See also: cheek

turn the other ˈcheek

make a deliberate decision to remain calm and not to act in an aggressive way when somebody has hurt you or made you angry: It’s hard to just turn the other cheek when people are criticizing you unfairly.This is a phrase used by Jesus in the Bible.
See also: cheek, other, turn

I like your ˈnerve, ˈcheek, etc.

,

I like ˈthat!

(informal, ironic) used for saying that you think somebody’s behaviour is very unreasonable or unfair: She crashed into my car and now she wants me to pay for hers to be repaired. Well I like her nerve!He wants me to do his work for him while he goes to a football game! Well, I like that!
See also: like

put the ˈroses back in your cheeks

(British English, informal) make you look healthier because you are not so pale: A week in the countryside will put the roses back in your cheeks.
See also: back, cheek, put, rose

(with) tongue in ˈcheek

(also with your tongue in your ˈcheek) if you say something with your tongue in your cheek, you are not being serious and mean it as a joke: I never know if Charlie’s serious or if he’s speaking with tongue in cheek.a tongue-in-cheek remark OPPOSITE: in all seriousness
See also: cheek, tongue

tongue in cheek

and TIC
phr. & comp. abb. a phrase said when the speaker is joking or not being sincere. My comment was made TIC. Don’t take me seriously.
See also: cheek, tongue

water one’s cheeks

tv. to cry; to shed tears sobbing. Poor Billy was watering his cheeks all night because his dog ran away.
See also: cheek, water

cheek by jowl

Side by side; close together.
See also: cheek
References in classic literature ?
Late one night when the lights were growing dim, so as hardly to betray the stain on the poor wife's cheek, she herself, for the first time, voluntarily took up the subject.
I feel myself fully competent to render this dear cheek as faultless as its fellow; and then, most beloved, what will be my triumph when I shall have corrected what Nature left imperfect in her fairest work
Aylmer looked cheerfully into her face, with intent to reassure her, but was so startled with the intense glow of the birthmark upon the whiteness of her cheek that he could not restrain a strong convulsive shudder.
Ah, I remember," said Georgiana, faintly; and she placed her hand over her cheek to hide the terrible mark from her husband's eyes.
Georgiana assented; but, on looking at the result, was affrighted to find the features of the portrait blurred and indefinable; while the minute figure of a hand appeared where the cheek should have been.
At the mention of the birthmark, Georgiana, as usual, shrank as if a redhot iron had touched her cheek.
A stronger infusion would take the blood out of the cheek, and leave the rosiest beauty a pale ghost.
She rubbed her cheeks quickly and fiercely to bring back the color Sarah had driven out of them, and delayed a moment longer to put on her tan lisle-thread gloves.
With a resolute self-grip, as she crossed the parlor and passed the door to Sarah's bedroom, through the thin wood of which came elephantine moanings and low slubberings, she steeled herself to keep the color in her cheeks and the brightness in her eyes.
His cheeks, smooth as a girl's, were touched with color.
Dodo looked up in amazement into the sweet young face; the blood rushed to his cheeks, and the tears to his eyes.
He felt a shock himself, and a blush of embarrassment shone faintly on his sunburned cheeks, though to him it burned as hotly as when his cheeks had been exposed to the open furnace-door in the fire- room.
Yes, that's the chap," he stammered, his cheeks hot again.
A faint colour came into her cheeks, and then her face became white -- more than white, ghastly; you felt that the blood had shrunk away from the whole surface of her body; and even her hands were pale.
Her eyes were wonderfully soft, the pink upon her cheeks was the blush of a girl.