Meaning of “tongue in cheek” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"tongue in cheek" in British English

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tongue in cheek

also with your tongue in your cheek

If you say something tongue in cheek, you intend it to be understood as a joke, although you might appear to be serious:

He said that he was a huge fan of the president, although I suspect it was tongue in cheek.

tongue-in-cheekadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˌtʌŋ.ɪnˈtʃiːk/ us /ˌtʌŋ.ɪnˈtʃiːk/

meant to be understood as a joke, although it might appear to be serious:

Her latest play is a firmly tongue-in-cheek look at the world of advertising.
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(Definition of “tongue in cheek” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"tongue-in-cheek" in American English

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tongue-in-cheeknoun, adjective

us /ˈtʌŋ·ɪnˈtʃik/

intended to be understood as a joke, although often seeming serious:

He made some tongue-in-cheek comment about being very busy cleaning his house.

(Definition of “tongue-in-cheek” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)