1 [cheez]
the curd of milk separated from the whey and prepared in many ways as a food.
a definite mass of this substance, often in the shape of a wheel or cylinder.
something of similar shape or consistency, as a mass of pomace in cider-making.
Informal. partly digested milk curds sometimes spit up by infants.
cheeses, any of several mallows, especially Malva neglecta, a sprawling,weedy plant having small lavender or white flowers and round, flat, segmented fruits thought to resemble little wheels of cheese.
Slang: Vulgar. smegma.
a transverse section cut from an ingot, as for making into a tire.
an ingot or billet made into a convex, circular form by blows at the ends.
a low curtsy.
verb (used without object), cheesed, cheesing.
Informal. (of infants) to spit up partly digested milk curds.
verb (used with object), cheesed, cheesing.
Metalworking. to forge (an ingot or billet) into a cheese.

before 1000; Middle English chese, Old English cēse (cognate with Old Saxon kāsi, German Käse) < Latin cāseus Unabridged


2 [cheez]
verb (used with object), cheesed, cheesing. Slang.
to stop; desist.
cheese it,
look out!
run away!

1805–15; perhaps alteration of cease


3 [cheez]
noun Slang.
a person or thing that is important or splendid.

1905–10; perhaps < Urdu chīz thing < Persian Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cheese1 (tʃiːz)
1.  the curd of milk separated from the whey and variously prepared as a food
2.  a mass or complete cake of this substance
3.  any of various substances of similar consistency, etc: lemon cheese
4.  slang big cheese an important person
5.  as alike as chalk and cheese, as different as chalk and cheese See chalk
[Old English cēse, from Latin cāseus cheese; related to Old Saxon kāsi]

cheese2 (tʃiːz)
1.  (tr) to stop; desist
2.  prison slang (intr) to act in a grovelling manner
[C19: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. cyse, from W.Gmc. *kasjus, from L. caseus "cheese," from PIE base *kwat- "to ferment, become sour." Earliest refs. would be to compressed curds of milk used as food; pressed or molded cheeses with rinds are 14c. As a photographer's word to make subjects hold a smile, it is attested from 1930, but
in a reminiscence of schoolboy days, which suggests an earlier use. To make cheeses was a schoolgirls' amusement (1835) of wheeling rapidly so one's petticoats blew out in a circle then dropping down so they came to rest inflated and resembling a wheel of cheese; hence, used figuratively for "a deep curtsey."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Cheese definition

(A.S. cese). This word occurs three times in the Authorized Version as the translation of three different Hebrew words: (1.) 1 Sam. 17:18, "ten cheeses;" i.e., ten sections of curd. (2.) 2 Sam. 17:29, "cheese of kine" = perhaps curdled milk of kine. The Vulgate version reads "fat calves." (3.) Job 10:10, curdled milk is meant by the word.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with cheese, also see big cheese.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
To make the filling, in a bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until the
  mixture is smooth and light.
You'll spend money on wine and cheese and enjoy some hangout time with friends.
Goat cheese and other dairy products are already popular gourmet items.
The pairing of wine with cheese has long been a given.
Idioms & Phrases
Image for cheese
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