\ 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.

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Other Words from cheer


cheerer noun

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

Lincoln High administrators plan to investigate allegations that students, including the cheer squad, were taunted with racial slurs during a football game Friday at San Clemente High School. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lincoln High investigating racial taunts from San Clemente High fans," 15 Sep. 2019 There are about 180 football and cheerleaders in the Packer Rattlers league with five football and five cheer squads. Emmett Hall,, "Deerfield Packer Rattlers youth football organization’s new leadership looks to right the ship," 12 Sep. 2019 His grandchildren and great-grandchildren will lead his famous cheer before Saturday’s kickoff. Edgar Thompson,, "UF scouting report: No. 11 Gators to host 41-point underdog UT-Martin," 7 Sep. 2019 Highlights will include: · Performances by the WHS Marching Band and varsity cheer squad. Carol Kovach,, "Westlake Demons Athletic Boosters kick off sports season with spirit rally: West Shore Chatter," 6 Aug. 2019 At first she was overwhelmed by cheers as guests scrambled to capture the moment on their phones. Ethan Varian, New York Times, "At the Wedding of Gigi Gorgeous and Nats Getty," 20 July 2019 O’Rourke said, finishing to cheers and applause from the audience. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "Did Beto O’Rourke Just Change the Democratic Conversation on Guns at the Debate?," 13 Sep. 2019 The Coast Guard pulled the man, who had been trapped behind glass in an engineering control room, out of the Golden Ray cargo ship to cheers and applause. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things to know for September 10: North Carolina, North Korea, Bahamas, Russia spy," 10 Sep. 2019 Erupting into cheers and hugging her daughter, Sheila was elated. Dave Quinn,, "Why Ashley Darby Hid Her Pregnancy from Her Real Housewives of Potomac Costars," 8 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The spokesperson said the squad was not suspended and cheered at the September 13 game. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Cheerleaders held up a "Trump 2020" sign during a football game. They were put on "probation" for the rest of the season," 17 Sep. 2019 On the pitch the divisions were clear: in that final a majority-black country cheered on a team with just one non-white player, Chester Williams. The Economist, "Chester Williams stood against South African rugby’s racism," 16 Sep. 2019 As Bettel spoke, a small but noisy crowd, many of whom were British nationals living in Luxembourg, clapped and cheered. Aimee Lewis, Matthew Chance And Nina Dos Santos, CNN, "Johnson skips press conference to avoid anti-Brexit protests," 16 Sep. 2019 They were drowned out by cheering Chiefs fans, mostly in Mahomes jerseys. Ann Killion,, "Fans’ anger with Raiders came as quickly as Chiefs’ second-quarter points," 15 Sep. 2019 Dozens of spectators cheered on the Navy team’s only female member. Vincent T. Davis,, "Airmen, soldiers and sailors competed in San Antonio against each other in the 2nd annual Alpha Warrior Inter-Service Battle.," 14 Sep. 2019 Students and staff were cheering loud and proud for the NBA rookie, who will play for the Boston Celtics this season. Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "Carsen Edwards returns to Atascocita as his No. 3 jersey is retired," 13 Sep. 2019 When Gabalier dropped to the stage floor at the end of the song, streamers in the color of the Austrian flag shot into the audience, and thousands of dirndl and lederhosen wearers cheered. Thomas Rogers, New York Times, "Rocking Out in Lederhosen, With a Hint of Populism," 10 Sep. 2019 Once inside, the artists sang with one another and cheered as their competitors practiced, which shows there's still some pureness left in this world. Megan Stein, Country Living, "This Is What It's Really Like to Audition for 'American Idol'," 8 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for cheer

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

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
somewhat formal : 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on cheer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheer

Spanish Central: Translation of cheer

Nglish: Translation of cheer for Spanish Speakers

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

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