An important person.
- ‘he was a really big cheese in the business world’
- ‘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.’
- ‘That has been the question on the lips of each of the big cheeses in charge.’
- ‘The big cheese thinks his star parties too much.’
- ‘So he was someone not to be crossed - he was a big cheese.’
- ‘In my scarlet red neckerchief, I really thought I was a big cheese.’
- ‘It is owned by an impossibly handsome young man who is a big cheese with an impeccably fashionable retail/restaurant group.’
- ‘I should have been flattered, my doctor being the big cheese now.’
- ‘What worries me is that I think I'll be working directly under one of the really big cheeses.’
Mid 19th century (as the cheese, meaning ‘something first-rate’): probably via Urdu from Persian čīz ‘thing’.
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