cheeky

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From cheek +‎ -y.

Pronunciation[edit]

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, Rudyard Kipling, Stalky & Co., chapter 4:
      "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, The Swoop! or How Clarence Saved England, chapter 7:
      The Young Turks, as might have been expected, wrote in their customary flippant, cheeky style.
  2. (informal, Britain) Indulged in.
    • 2009, Amy Huberman, Hello, Heartbreak, Penguin UK (ISBN 9780141943237)
      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 9781407031439), 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 9781848766853), 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 9781446417096), page 20
      The great thing was it gave him a little bit of freedom and me the chance to sneak a cheeky nap.
  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 9780520083080), 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 9780801482618), 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.

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