There are 3 main definitions of cheese in English:

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cheese1

Line breaks: cheese
Pronunciation: /tʃiːz
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
1A food made from the pressed curds of milk, firm and elastic or soft and semi-liquid in texture: grated cheese [as modifier]: a cheese sandwich [count noun]: a cow’s milk cheese
More example sentences
  • In summer it was normal to live on milk, butter, cheese curds and whey, while in autumn a number of cattle were killed, their beef being salted to eat during the winter.
  • To test my theory I've decided to eliminate all food made with cheese, butter or milk from his diet.
  • Another common intolerance is to dairy products, including cow's milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream.
1.1 [count noun] A complete cake of cheese with its rind: the cheeses are trimmed and wrapped in sterilized muslin
More example sentences
  • This is the first year that there was a special category for washed rind cheeses.
  • This cheese has a bloomy rind and a fluffy, mellow center.
  • I remember rubbing the mould from beautiful unpasteurised washed rind cheeses with a soft cloth.
1.2 [with modifier] British A conserve having the consistency of soft cheese: lemon cheese
1.3 [count noun] A round, flat object resembling a cake of cheese, such as the heavy flat wooden disc used in skittles and other games.
2 informal The quality of being too obviously sentimental: the conversations tend too far towards cheese

Origin

Old English cēse, cȳse, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch kaas and German Käse; from Latin caseus.

More
  • big from (Middle English):

    Like many small words, big appeared from nowhere. It is first recorded in the early Middle Ages meaning ‘strong, powerful’, and clear examples referring just to size do not emerge until the 16th century. The sense ‘elder’ as in big brother or big sister is first found in the 19th century. In George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-four the head of state is called Big Brother, and ‘Big Brother is watching you’ is the caption on posters showing his face. The novel was published in 1949, and very quickly people started using Big Brother to refer to any person or organization exercising total control over people's lives. Various other phrases involving big refer to an important or influential person, such as big cheese, which first came into use in American slang during the early 1900s. It almost certainly has no connection with food—the word cheese here probably comes from Urdu and Persian cīz, which just means ‘thing’.

Phrases

hard cheese

1
British informal Used to express sympathy over a petty matter: jolly hard cheese, better luck next time!
More example sentences
  • Of course, I trust them implicitly, just as I trust all experts with letters after their names, so I rang the Vat helpline. They said hard cheese, your accountants are right.
  • Your obnoxious politician was quoted in an American blog as saying: ‘America is going to do what it likes or hard cheese.’
  • This is hard cheese for many producers across the EU.

say cheese

2
Said by a photographer to encourage the subject to smile.
Example sentences
  • I was told to smile, hey look at the camera and smile, and say cheese.
  • All of them paste their best smiles and say cheese.
  • Well if they will encourage the proliferation of CCTV what do they expect us to do: smile and say cheese?

Definition of cheese in:

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There are 3 main definitions of cheese in English:

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cheese2

Line breaks: cheese
Pronunciation: /tʃiːz
 
/

noun

(in phrase big cheese) informal
An important person: he was a really big cheese in the business world
More example sentences
  • Virtually everybody in the factory - the boss, or should I say the big cheese, included - is gathered round, transfixed by the Japanese Grand Prix.
  • Somehow, I don't think you'd get that with an audience of big cheeses.
  • Someone recommended I talk to them because they were the big cheeses when it comes to films.

Origin

1920s: probably via Urdu from Persian čīz 'thing': the phrase the cheese was used earlier to mean 'first-rate' (i.e. the thing).

More
  • big from (Middle English):

    Like many small words, big appeared from nowhere. It is first recorded in the early Middle Ages meaning ‘strong, powerful’, and clear examples referring just to size do not emerge until the 16th century. The sense ‘elder’ as in big brother or big sister is first found in the 19th century. In George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-four the head of state is called Big Brother, and ‘Big Brother is watching you’ is the caption on posters showing his face. The novel was published in 1949, and very quickly people started using Big Brother to refer to any person or organization exercising total control over people's lives. Various other phrases involving big refer to an important or influential person, such as big cheese, which first came into use in American slang during the early 1900s. It almost certainly has no connection with food—the word cheese here probably comes from Urdu and Persian cīz, which just means ‘thing’.

Definition of cheese in:

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There are 3 main definitions of cheese in English:

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cheese3

Line breaks: cheese
Pronunciation: /tʃiːz
 
/

verb

[with object] (usually be cheesed off) British informal
Exasperate, frustrate, or bore (someone): I got a bit cheesed off with the movie
More example sentences
  • More people are going down this route because they are cheesed off that they have to pay crazy prices for a bigger property.
  • There is a lot of support in the town and they are cheesed off with the arrogance of the Liberal Democrats.
  • It's the existence of the rich that cheeses them off.

Origin

early 19th century (in the archaic phrase cheese it, used to urge someone to stop doing something): of unknown origin.

More
  • big from (Middle English):

    Like many small words, big appeared from nowhere. It is first recorded in the early Middle Ages meaning ‘strong, powerful’, and clear examples referring just to size do not emerge until the 16th century. The sense ‘elder’ as in big brother or big sister is first found in the 19th century. In George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-four the head of state is called Big Brother, and ‘Big Brother is watching you’ is the caption on posters showing his face. The novel was published in 1949, and very quickly people started using Big Brother to refer to any person or organization exercising total control over people's lives. Various other phrases involving big refer to an important or influential person, such as big cheese, which first came into use in American slang during the early 1900s. It almost certainly has no connection with food—the word cheese here probably comes from Urdu and Persian cīz, which just means ‘thing’.

Phrases

cheese it!

1
1 archaic Used to urge someone to stop doing something.
2 dated Used to urge someone to make a hasty departure from somewhere: Cheese it, here comes Mr Madigan!

Definition of cheese in:

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