cheese

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English[edit]

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Cheese for sale in a market.

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English chese, from Old English ċēse, ċīese, ċȳse (cheese), from West Germanic or late Proto-Germanic *kāsijaz (cheese), from Latin cāseus (cheese), from Proto-Indo-European *kwat- (to ferment, become sour). Cognate with West Frisian tsiis (cheese), Low German Kees (cheese), Dutch kaas (cheese), German Käse (cheese). Also related to Old English hwaþerian (to roar, foam, surge), dialectal Swedish hvå (foam), Latvian kūsāt (to boil), Old Church Slavonic квасъ (kvasŭ, leaven; sour drink), Sanskrit क्वथते (kváthate, it boils).

Proto-Germanic *kāsijaz developed into early Old English or Anglo-Frisian *kǣsi by Anglo-Frisian brightening and loss of the last syllable. This developed the Anglian form ċēse by the shift > ē. The early West Saxon form ċīese may have developed by palatal diphthongization after ċ (ǣ > ēa, yielding *ċēase, and then i-mutation (ēa > īe). The later West Saxon form ċȳse developed through the shift īe > ȳ. In both dialects, *k was palatalized to ċ, and the final vowel *-i was reduced to -e. Anglian ċēse yielded the modern form cheese.

Noun[edit]

cheese (countable and uncountable, plural cheeses)

  1. (uncountable) A dairy product made from curdled or cultured milk.
  2. (countable) Any particular variety of cheese.
  3. (countable) A piece of cheese, especially one moulded into a large round shape during manufacture.
  4. (uncountable, colloquial) That which is melodramatic, overly emotional, or cliché, i.e. cheesy.
    • 2012, Hill, Katrina, Action Movie Freak, page 117:
      It's time to add some cheese to this action burger! Every genre has them, everybody loves them ... it's the parodies!
    • 2012 June 18, Lambie, Ryan, “10 delightfully cheesy 90s sci-fi movie trailers”, in Den of Geek![1]:
      A film ostensibly about the lead singer of a hair metal band killing innocent people on a future planet Earth, Alienator is the epitome of low-budget cheese.
  5. (uncountable, slang) Money.
  6. (countable, Britain) In skittles, the roughly ovoid object that is thrown to knock down the skittles.
  7. (uncountable, slang, baseball) A fastball.
  8. (uncountable, slang) A dangerous mixture of black tar heroin and crushed Tylenol PM tablets. The resulting powder resembles grated cheese and is snorted.
  9. (vulgar, slang) Smegma.
  10. (technology) Holed pattern of circuitry to decrease pattern density.
    • 2006, US Patent 7458053, International Business Machines Corporation
      It is known in the art to insert features that are electrically inactive (“fill structures”) into a layout to increase layout pattern density or and to remove features from the layout (“cheese structures”) to decrease layout pattern density.
  11. A mass of pomace, or ground apples, pressed together in the shape of a cheese.
    • 2012, Rutledge, P., “Production of Non-Fermented Fruit Products”, in D. Arthey, P.R. Ashurst, editor, Fruit Processing, ISBN 9781461521037, page 77:
      Apple pulp is poured into the cloth until the frame is full. The edges of the cloth are folded over the pulp forming a cloth-bound bed of apple pulp, called a 'cheese' as it resembles the European-style bound cheese. The frame is removed, a divider is placed on the 'cheese' and another 'cheese' is built on top of the first, and so on.
  12. The flat, circular, mucilaginous fruit of the dwarf mallow (Malva rotundifolia).
  13. A low curtsey; so called on account of the cheese shape assumed by a woman's dress when she stoops after extending the skirts by a rapid gyration.
    • 1853, De Quincey, Thomas, “I Enter the World”, in Autobiographic Sketches:
      The time was morning; the young lady was not fifteen; her spirits were as the spirits of a fawn in May; her tour of duty for the day was either not come, or was gone; and, finding herself alone in a spacious room, what more reasonable thing could she do than amuse herself with making cheeses? that is, whirling round, according to a fashion practised by young ladies both in France and England, and pirouetting until the petticoat is inflated like a balloon, and then sinking into a courtesy.
    • 1857, Thackeray, William Makepeace, chapter 34, in The Virginians:
      "I thank your ladyship, I don't like tanzing, and I don't like cards," says Miss Hester, tossing up her head; and, dropping a curtsey like a "cheese," she strutted away from the Countess's table.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (money): For semantic relationships of this sense, see money in the Wikisaurus.
Antonyms[edit]
  • (circuitry): fill (dummy pattern to increase pattern density)
Hyponyms[edit]
  • (dairy product): For semantic relationships of this term, see cheese in the Wikisaurus.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

cheese (third-person singular simple present cheeses, present participle cheesing, simple past and past participle cheesed)

  1. To prepare curds for making cheese.
  2. (technology) To make holes in a pattern of circuitry to decrease pattern density.
  3. (slang) To smile excessively, as for a camera.
    • 2013, Michael W. Eagle II (lyrics and music), “Degrassi Picture Day”, in Sir Rockabye, performed by Open Mike Eagle; Busdriver, track 1:
      Yeah, a couple homegirls cheese they little faces off / They happy cause they finally got they braces off

Interjection[edit]

cheese!

  1. (photography) Said while being photographed, to give the impression of smiling.
    Say "cheese"! ... and there we are!
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably from Persian چيز (čīz, thing).

Noun[edit]

cheese (uncountable)

  1. (slang) Wealth, fame, excellence, importance.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Etymology unknown. Possibly an alteration of cease.

Verb[edit]

cheese (third-person singular simple present cheeses, present participle cheesing, simple past and past participle cheesed)

  1. (slang) To stop; to refrain from.
    Cheese it, the cops!
  2. (slang) To anger or irritate someone, usually in combination with "off".
    All this waiting around is really cheesing me off.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

From cheesy.

Verb[edit]

cheese (third-person singular simple present cheeses, present participle cheesing, simple past and past participle cheesed)

  1. (video games) To use an unsporting tactic; to repeatedly use an attack which is overpowered or difficult to counter.
    You can cheese most of the game using certain exploits.
  2. (video games) To use an unconventional, all-in strategy to take one's opponent by surprise early in the game (especially for real-time strategy games).
Synonyms[edit]
  • (use a surprise all-in strategy early in a game): rush, zerg