\ ˈchir How to pronounce cheer (audio) \

Definition of cheer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
2 : lightness of mind and feeling : animation, gaiety faces full of cheer
3 : state of mind or heart : spirit … be of good cheer — Matthew 9:2 (King James Version)
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 archaic : facial expression
b obsolete : face


cheered; cheering; cheers

Definition of cheer (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to utter a shout of applause or triumph What is there to cheer about?
2 : to grow or be cheerful : rejoice usually used with up Cheer up! Things could be worse.
3 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
4 obsolete : to be mentally or emotionally disposed

transitive verb

1a : to make glad or happy usually used with up clowns who cheer up children in hospitals
b : to instill with hope or courage : comfort usually used with up cheer desponding men with new-born hope.— William Wordsworth
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.

Other Words from cheer


cheerer noun

Examples of cheer in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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 Newport, Rhode Island is a beautiful destination no matter the season, but come wintertime, when the crowds have thinned and hotels are filled to the brim with holiday cheer is a great time to pay a visit. Michelle Gross, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 How about spending the festive season in a snowy ski resort decked with holly, festooned with sparkling lights and abuzz with cheer. Rob Hodgetts, CNN, 21 Dec. 2021 Crazy Christmas House is crazy... with holiday cheer, that is. Patrick Connolly,, 17 Dec. 2021 Elsewhere on Saturday, Findlay Market will be alive with holiday cheer as the calendar looks packed with a variety of events throughout the day. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 16 Dec. 2021 Now if that doesn't fill you with Christmas cheer, maybe ask yourself: What's really humbugging you? Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 15 Dec. 2021 For some, a tree with enough fragrance to fill the room with holiday cheer is the most important aspect. Hannah Drown, cleveland, 9 Dec. 2021 And with its cheer comes waste, so San Antonio’s Solid Waste Management Department is urging residents to think about recycling this month, offering guidance to make the city is as environmentally friendly as possible. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 3 Dec. 2021 The near west suburbs are filled with holiday cheer this year. Myrna Petlicki,, 30 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rainey, a junior at Thornton, was there to cheer on his dad as the elder Rainey was inducted Nov. 12 for his basketball accomplishments into the Murray State Hall of Fame. Jeff Vorva,, 15 Jan. 2022 Hundreds of spectators filled the wharves and boats in the Bay to cheer on their favorite boatmen, who competed for a prize of $100. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Dec. 2021 Then after earning his master’s degree, Medina was at the Alamdome to cheer on his alma mater in 2011 when UTSA football kicked off its inaugural season. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, 15 Dec. 2021 Thousands of fans traveled from Seattle to cheer on their team in the home stadium of their fiercest rival. oregonlive, 10 Dec. 2021 Dancers routinely cluster in the wings to cheer on their colleagues. Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2021 Christina Moore, 28, of North Hollywood, stood across the street from City Hall with two friends to cheer on her fiancé, 27-year-old Artoun Nazareth. Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2021 Miller and several of the Cincinnati basketball players traveled to South Bend on Saturday to cheer on the Bearcats in their 24-13 win over Notre Dame. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, 6 Oct. 2021 College sports have long captured the hearts of fans around the nation who wear team colors to cheer on their favorite amateur athletes. Tara Adhikari, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Sep. 2021

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 7b


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

History and Etymology for cheer

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for cheer

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near cheer




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Statistics for cheer

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cheer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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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 How to pronounce cheer (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on cheer

Nglish: Translation of cheer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cheer for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cheer


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