Main definitions of cheese in English

: cheese1cheese2cheese3

cheese1

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’
    • ‘Milk, butter, cheese and yogurt are an integral part of the Irish diet.’
    • ‘Exclude dairy foods - milk and cheese are possible irritants to the lungs as they produce large amounts of mucus.’
    • ‘Good sources of calcium include dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream and tofu.’
    • ‘Another common intolerance is to dairy products, including cow's milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream.’
    • ‘We didn't even go downstairs for lunch, though Mom brought up grilled cheese sandwiches and milk for us.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘CLA is found in beef and some other meats, as well as in dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt.’
    • ‘It is important to eat several servings of calcium-rich foods daily, such as milk, cheese and yogurt.’
    • ‘After stocking the land with dairy cows, they became self-supporting in butter, milk and cheese.’
    • ‘I'm proud to say that I am part of an industry that produces some of the best milk, cheese, butter, cream and yogurt in the world.’
    • ‘Eat a well-balanced diet including high calcium foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables.’
    • ‘Kyla should make sure she has cereal, yogurt, cheese and/or milk every day.’
    • ‘She says she can find animal-free alternatives for staples such as meat, bread, milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, and ice cream in the local supermarket.’
    • ‘Most are not eating enough cereals, breads, potatoes, milk, cheese and dairy products.’
    • ‘She made a ham and cheese sandwich and drank milk.’
    • ‘To test my theory I've decided to eliminate all food made with cheese, butter or milk from his diet.’
    • ‘As for taste and texture, soy cheese and soy yogurt are virtually indistinguishable from cow's milk varieties.’
    • ‘Milk, cheese and butter could play havoc with cholesterol and do nasty things to the arteries.’
    • ‘What are you gonna do with all that butter, milk and cheese?’
    • ‘Surely it is also dedicated to getting people to buy as much milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream as possible?’
    1. 1.1count noun A complete cake of cheese with its rind.
      ‘the cheeses are trimmed and wrapped in sterilized muslin’
      • ‘This cheese has a bloomy rind and a fluffy, mellow center.’
      • ‘This is the first year that there was a special category for washed rind cheeses.’
      • ‘Cheese was cut with a wire on a wooden handle from a large round cheese.’
      • ‘Cut the rind off soft cheeses like Brie to reduce their fat content.’
      • ‘Your cheese was cut with a wire from a whole cheese; your butter was cut from a block using a long knife and so on and so on.’
      • ‘I remember rubbing the mould from beautiful unpasteurised washed rind cheeses with a soft cloth.’
    2. 1.2British with modifier A conserve having the consistency of soft cheese.
      ‘lemon cheese’
    3. 1.3count noun A round, flat object resembling a cake of cheese, such as the heavy flat wooden disc used in skittles and other games.
  • 2informal The quality of being too obviously sentimental.

    ‘the conversations tend too far towards cheese’

Phrases

  • hard cheese

    • informal Used to express sympathy over a petty matter.

      ‘jolly hard cheese, better luck next time!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But if protecting them means doing or allowing harm to us, if it really is ‘us or them’, then hard cheese on them.’
      • ‘This is hard cheese for many producers across the EU.’
      • ‘And that was just hard cheese for particle physicists, and for many years the best people worked on quantum gravity to no avail.’
      • ‘Your obnoxious politician was quoted in an American blog as saying: ‘America is going to do what it likes or hard cheese.’’
  • say cheese

    • Said by a photographer to encourage the subject to smile.

      • ‘I was told to smile, hey look at the camera and smile, and say cheese.’
      • ‘Well if they will encourage the proliferation of CCTV what do they expect us to do: smile and say cheese?’
      • ‘Once a firm favourite, apparently just one in five of us now say cheese when we are having our photograph taken, putting it just third in the top ten.’
      • ‘And, though the English say cheese, the Koreans say fermented cabbage (kim chi).’
      • ‘All of them paste their best smiles and say cheese.’
      • ‘Tiger was photographed so often he almost knew when to turn to say cheese!’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

cheese

/tʃiːz/

Main definitions of cheese in English

: cheese1cheese2cheese3

cheese2

noun

in phrase big cheese
informal
  • An important person.

    ‘he was a really big cheese in the business world’
    • ‘What worries me is that I think I'll be working directly under one of the really big cheeses.’
    • ‘So he was someone not to be crossed - he was a big cheese.’
    • ‘I should have been flattered, my doctor being the big cheese now.’
    • ‘In my scarlet red neckerchief, I really thought I was a big cheese.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is owned by an impossibly handsome young man who is a big cheese with an impeccably fashionable retail/restaurant group.’
    • ‘Someone recommended I talk to them because they were the big cheeses when it comes to films.’
    • ‘The big cheese thinks his star parties too much.’
    • ‘That has been the question on the lips of each of the big cheeses in charge.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

cheese

/tʃiːz/

Main definitions of cheese in English

: cheese1cheese2cheese3

cheese3

verb

[with object]usually be cheesed off
British
informal
  • Exasperate, frustrate, or bore (someone)

    ‘I got a bit cheesed off with the movie’
    • ‘What cheeses me off, of course, is that these offers are available only to those who can be provided with a service at minimum cost and thus maximum profit to the service provider.’
    • ‘No one wanted to go on the record with these sentiments and cheese them off just yet, but one said: ‘They're targeting a market that doesn't necessarily want it.’’
    • ‘She will be cheesed off if I have to tell her that I didn't get my homework on relative minors done.’
    • ‘I had to call in sick for about four days, which really cheesed me off.’
    • ‘There is a lot of support in the town and they are cheesed off with the arrogance of the Liberal Democrats.’
    • ‘To say they are cheesed off with the share market, the government, the company and all the other players puts it mildly.’
    • ‘The men put them up in tents and, because they're city girls, this really cheeses them off.’
    • ‘And is it your impression that irrigators are open to that reality, or does it cheese them off?’
    • ‘See, as a tax payer, I am bailing out these stupid companies… and that cheeses me off.’
    • ‘It's the existence of the rich that cheeses them off.’
    • ‘What cheeses me off is all the ‘journalists’ who uncritically covered the IPO and gave the investment banks and money managers a platform from which to attempt to manipulate the market like that.’
    • ‘As far as I am concerned, I am cheesed off with the result, but I am not just here for this game and five or six others.’
    • ‘More people are going down this route because they are cheesed off that they have to pay crazy prices for a bigger property.’
    • ‘This isn't fatal, but grants him the ability to turn into a big, dumb green guy whenever someone cheeses him off.’
    • ‘It really used to cheese me off at first, because I don't think music is about colour, I think music is about passion.’

Phrases

  • cheese it!

    • 1informal Used to urge someone to stop doing something.

    • 2informal Used to urge someone to run away.

      ‘Cheese it, here comes Mr Madigan!’

Origin

Early 19th century (in the archaic phrase cheese it, used to urge someone to stop doing something): the current use dates from the 1940s. Both uses are of uncertain origin.

Pronunciation

cheese

/tʃiːz/