General English


  • In general, the side of any feature, such as the side of a dormer.


  • noun one of two fleshy parts of the face on each side of the nose
  • noun either side of the buttocks

Origin & History of “cheek”

Old English cēace and cēoce go back respectively to prehistoric west Germanic *kǣkōn and *keukōn, but beyond that the word has no known relatives in other Indo-European languages. It has, however, produced one or two interesting offshoots. It forms the basis of the verb choke, and may be the source of chock-full (literally, ‘full up to the cheeks’); and middle Dutch kākelen, source of English cackle (13th c.), may be partly based on the related Middle Dutch kāke ‘jaw’. The metaphorical sense ‘impudence’ (whence cheeky) arose in the 19th century, originally as ‘insolent talk’.