cheeky

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From cheek +‎ -y.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈtʃiːki/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːki

Adjective[edit]

cheeky (comparative cheekier, superlative cheekiest)

  1. (informal) Impudent; impertinent; impertinently bold, often in a way that is regarded as endearing or amusing.
    • 1899 February, Rudyard Kipling, “The Impressionists”, in Stalky & Co., London: Macmillan & Co., published 1899, OCLC 1127934491, page 112:
      'Shut up,' said Harrison. 'You chaps always behave as if you were jawin' us when we come to jaw you.' / 'You're a lot too cheeky,' said Craye.
    • 1909, P. G. Wodehouse, chapter 7, in The Swoop! or How Clarence Saved England:
      The Young Turks, as might have been expected, wrote in their customary flippant, cheeky style.
  2. (informal) (of swimwear, underwear, etc.) tending to reveal the cheeks of the buttocks.
    • 1984, Hugh Lunn, Queenslanders, page 159:
      Barry said he introduced the cheeky bikini to the Coast three years ago: "I took a theatrical garment worn for as long as there have been strippers and showgirls — the G-string — and put it on the beach and gave it a name and we sold a heap."
    • 2002, Elle, volume 17:
      Joyce Azria oversees a staff of twelve, manages a multimillion-dollar budget, and, in her first year as director of BCBG swimwear, designed cheeky bikinis and deep-V maillots that became top sellers at Bloomingdale's.
  3. (Australian Aboriginal) Poisonous (of animals such as snakes), dangerous, cunning, violent, potent.
    • 1994, Victoria Katherine Burbank, Fighting Women: Anger and Aggression in Aboriginal Australia, Univ of California Press →ISBN, page 57
      A death adder is cheeky, a tree snake quiet. Wasps are only cheeky if you hold them in your hand.
    • 1995, Richard Shine, Australian Snakes: A Natural History, Cornell University Press →ISBN, page 176
      There is no doubt that many have been killed by large elapids, and that Aborigines treat such 'cheeky' snakes (and colubrids of similar appearance) with great respect.
  4. (informal, Britain) Indulged in.
    • 2009, Amy Huberman, Hello, Heartbreak, Penguin UK →ISBN
      Although sometimes I'd award myself a cheeky McDonald's hangover treat if I did well.
    • 2010, Richard Herring, How Not to Grow Up: A Coming of Age Memoir. Sort of., Random House →ISBN, page 285
      It was a massive struggle to resist the lure of a cheeky beer, but I held firm.
    • 2011, John Donoghue, Police, Crime & 999, Troubador Publishing Ltd →ISBN, page 7
      It transpired that Mrs Egg had been cooking dinner when she discovered Mr Singlet making himself a sandwich. I don't know about you but it does seem a little bit naught after she's gone to all that effort. Naughty yes but hardly a crime and certainly not enough to warrant a 999 call. Yet that's what she had done. That's why we had left our own dinner, charged through rush hour traffic, disrupted commuters on their way home – all for a cheeky sandwich.
    • 2011, James Goss, Torchwood: First Born, Random House →ISBN, page 20
      The great thing was it gave him a little bit of freedom and me the chance to sneak a cheeky nap.

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