There are 3 main definitions of cheese in English:

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cheese1

Syllabification: cheese
Pronunciation: /CHēz
 
/

noun

1A food made from the pressed curds of milk: grated cheese a slice of cheese [as modifier]: a cheese sandwich
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.
1.1A complete molded mass of cheese with its rind, often in a round flat shape: a 50-pound, muslin-wrapped cheese
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.
1.2A round flat object resembling a cheese.
2 informal The quality of being too obviously sentimental: the conversations tend too far toward cheese

Origin

Old English cēse, cȳse; 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.
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

Syllabification: cheese
Pronunciation: /CHēz
 
/
(in phrase big cheese)

noun

informal
An important person: he was a 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

early 19th century (originally in the sense 'the right thing or something excellent'): probably from Urdu, from Persian čīz 'thing'. The current sense dates from the 1920s.

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

Syllabification: cheese
Pronunciation: /CHēz
 
/

verb

informal , chiefly British
Exasperate, frustrate, or bore: that really cheesed off Ricky
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 (cheese1 (sense 1) of cheese it): 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
1British archaic Look out.
2 dated Run away: cheese it, here comes Mr. Madigan!

Definition of cheese in:

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