cheek by jowl

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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: by, cheek
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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: by, cheek
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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: by, cheek
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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: by, cheek
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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: by, cheek
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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: by, cheek
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cheek by jowl

Side by side; close together.
See also: by, cheek
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cheek by jowl

Close, intimate, side by side. The term is a very old one, dating back to the sixteenth century (when it apparently replaced the still older cheek by cheek: “I’ll go with thee, cheek by jowl,” wrote Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 3.2). Eric Partridge deemed it a cliché by the mid-eighteenth century.
See also: by, cheek
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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