\ ˈchir \

Definition of cheer 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a obsolete : face

b archaic : facial expression

2 : state of mind or heart : spirit be of good cheer —Matthew 9:2 (King James Version)

3 : lightness of mind and feeling : animation, gaiety faces full of cheer

4 : hospitable entertainment : welcome

5 : food and drink for a feast : fare every table was loaded with good cheer —T. B. Macaulay

6 : something that gladdens words of cheer

7a : a shout of applause or encouragement the players were greeted with loud cheers

b US : the activity of organized cheerleading With autumn approaching, evenings at Stringham Pitcher Park are again alive with the sounds of football and cheer. —Laura McCusker


cheered; cheering; cheers

Definition of cheer (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to instill with hope or courage : comfort usually used with up cheer desponding men with new-born hope —William Wordsworth

b : to make glad or happy usually used with up clowns who cheer up children in hospitals

2 : to urge on or encourage especially by shouts cheered the team on

3 : to applaud with shouts The contest winner was cheered as she accepted the trophy.

intransitive verb

1 obsolete : to be mentally or emotionally disposed

2 : to grow or be cheerful : rejoice usually used with up Cheer up! Things could be worse.

3 : to utter a shout of applause or triumph What is there to cheer about?

4 US : to perform as a cheerleader A gymnast from the age of 3, she switched to cheerleading in middle school. Rink cheered for three years for her middle school and became a cheerleader for Penn. —Nikki Taylor

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Other words from cheer


cheerer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cheer

Synonyms: Noun

acclamation, applause, cheering, ovation, plaudit(s), rave(s)

Synonyms: Verb

acclaim, accredit, applaud, crack up, hail, laud, praise, salute, tout

Antonyms: Noun

booing, hissing

Antonyms: Verb

knock, pan, slam

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Examples of cheer in a Sentence


The audience let out a cheer. Loud cheers were coming from the bleachers. The star was greeted with cheers. Let's spread a little holiday cheer. The cheerleaders did a cheer for the home team.


The crowd cheered as he crossed the finish line. We were cheering for you all the way! The crowd cheered him as he crossed the finish line. Their fans cheered them to victory. Supporters cheered the court's decision. Investors were cheered by good economic news.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The crowds cheer for local favorites, as well as young, unknown drivers using Hudson as a first step up the racing ladder. Porter Gifford,, "Photo essay: A look at the loud, unpredictable action at Hudson Speedway," 29 June 2018 Sports include archery, basketball, cheer dance, fencing, flag football, go-karts, soccer, swimming, tennis and a flying trapeze. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Campers reach new heights at JCC summer camp programs," 22 June 2018 Amaya Gustave of Franklin High School is the co-captain of the varsity cheer team and a member of the National Honor Society and the Black Student Union. Lizzy Acker,, "2018 Rose Festival Queen is Kiara Johnson of Parkrose High," 9 June 2018 No doubt this will cause cheer amongst Glencore’s risk-averse peers, who have been berated by Ivan for misguided investment strategies. Thomas Wilson,, "Glencore Goes From Crisis to Crisis With Possible Bribery Probe," 21 May 2018 This past year, Fortier started a special needs cheer team. Kenny Levine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Through Sparkle Cheer, Fortier giving kids new opportunities," 2 May 2018 Jake has been accepted to the University of Akron to study Aerospace Engineering and to join the UA cheer team. 'sam' Boyer/special To,, "There's a buzz about the new residents at the farm: Whit & whimsey," 27 Apr. 2018 The Los Angeles Rams have announced Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies will join the previously all-female cheer team. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Los Angeles Rams' male cheerleaders make NFL history," 28 Mar. 2018 Oak Forest: The Oak Forest Park District, 15601 S. Central Ave., will host a cheer stunting workshop from July 26 to 28 and a cheer tumbling workshop from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Sports calendar," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Children waving British and U.S. flags cheered loudly. Sylvia Hui,, "Melania Trump dutifully tries her hand at lawn bowling," 13 July 2018 Photo: kim kyung hoon/Reuters BMW investors will likely wait for the fine print before cheering all this—its shares are only up 1% in the past two days. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Trade Tensions Help BMW Enter China’s Fast Lane," 13 July 2018 There, crowds gathered behind barriers flanking the entrance and cheered every arriving ambulance. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 The franchise was formally awarded by MLS in January at a carnival-like gathering in downtown Miami while confetti rained down and soccer enthusiasts chanted and cheered. Craig Davis,, "David Beckham, Jorge Mas encounter opposition in latest bid for Miami MLS stadium," 13 July 2018 Children waving British and U.S. flags cheered loudly. Sylvia Hui, Fox News, "Melania Trump dutifully tries her hand at lawn bowls," 13 July 2018 As the final ambulances left the cave, people lined the streets cheering. Anna Werner, CBS News, "New video of Thai cave rescue shows just how close divers came to disaster," 11 July 2018 And fans in Zagreb went wild as their team moved on, cheering and waving flags in the streets. Charlotte Carroll,, "Watch: Fans in Zagreb Go Nuts As Croatia Advances to World Cup Final," 11 July 2018 President Donald Trump is no stranger to making statements that leave his crowds cheering and everyone else puzzled. Travis M. Andrews,, "From Elton John to Eminem to Peggy Lee: Trump's bizarre history with pop music," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cheer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cheer


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for cheer


Middle English chere face, cheer, from Anglo-French, face, from Medieval Latin cara, probably from Greek kara head, face — more at cerebral


see cheer entry 1

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Statistics for cheer

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cheer

The first known use of cheer was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for cheer



English Language Learners Definition of cheer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a shout of praise or encouragement

: a happy feeling or attitude

: a special song or chant that is performed to encourage a team during a game in sports like American football and basketball



English Language Learners Definition of cheer (Entry 2 of 2)

: to shout with joy, approval, or enthusiasm

: to express enthusiastic approval of or support for (something)

: to cause (someone) to feel happier or more hopeful


\ ˈchir \

Kids Definition of cheer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a happy feeling : good spirits full of cheer

2 : something that gladdens words of cheer

3 : a shout of praise or encouragement The crowd let out a cheer.


cheered; cheering

Kids Definition of cheer (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give hope to or make happier : comfort Signs of spring cheered her.

2 : to grow or be cheerful usually used with up “… I don't WANT to cheer up. It's nicer to be miserable!” —Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

3 : to urge on especially with shouts or cheers They cheered the team to victory.

4 : to shout with joy, approval, or enthusiasm We cheered when he crossed the finish line.

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Comments on cheer

What made you want to look up cheer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

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