\ 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 upCheer 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 upclowns who cheer up children in hospitals
b : to instill with hope or courage : comfort usually used with upcheer 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

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 The historic Bay View theater, 2473 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is filling its screens with holiday cheer throughout December. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Where you can see Christmas movies on the big screen in Milwaukee, from 'Elf' to 'It's a Wonderful Life'," 20 Nov. 2020 This year, Christmas trees and other expressions of Yuletide cheer are gracing residential streets and Instagram feeds well before Thanksgiving Day. Los Angeles Times, "If your Christmas tree is up already, here’s what health experts have to say about it," 18 Nov. 2020 Brimming with holiday cheer, this wreath is full of Christmassy things — from shiny, shatterproof ornaments to glowing lights and glittering twigs. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "17 of the prettiest, merriest holiday wreaths you can buy right now," 17 Nov. 2020 Local CEOs will conduct, narrate and sing during the performance, rounding out a program replete with festive cheer. Nicole Cormier, Dallas News, "The DSO’s ‘A Holly Jolly Celebration: A C-Suite Christmas’ goes nationwide in a televised special this year," 12 Nov. 2020 And some flickers of good cheer were also spotted in the wake of the election. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of November 2," 6 Nov. 2020 This embroidered pillow from Vickerman is perfect for infusing your furniture with a bit of autumnal cheer. Madison Durham, USA TODAY, "20 bestselling pieces of fall decor you can buy at Macy's," 30 Sep. 2020 Some fun and good cheer may be in the stars for you later this evening. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 11, 2020: Libra, love, romance are on your mind; Pisces, don’t be self-conscious," 11 Sep. 2020 His previous cover for The New Yorker featured a burst of seasonal cheer in wintry New York, and his latest, which arrives on the cusp of autumn, does something similar, though its main players aren’t human. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "Edward Steed’s “Overgrown”," 7 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As Krasnodar made its way through the UEFA Champions League the past two months, Pereyra eagerly watched to cheer on his former teammates. Julia Poe,, "Mauricio Pereyra is elite conductor of Orlando City attack," 19 Nov. 2020 Strictly Come Dancing, the British equivalent of Dancing With the Stars, on Saturday evening, in order to cheer on contestant JJ Chalmers (pictured above), a close friend of the royal. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry Made a Surprise Appearance on the British Version of 'Dancing With the Stars'," 16 Nov. 2020 Going this route gives the audience the freedom to cheer whenever the Butcher taunts and tortures Millie’s bullies. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Vince Vaughn swaps bodies with a teen girl in high-concept slasher comedy ‘Freaky’," 10 Nov. 2020 As for the 2020 season in which capacity at AT&T Stadium is limited to approximately 25,000 due to Covid-19 restrictions, Steelers fans coming to cheer on their undefeated team are paying a hefty price for tickets. Dallas News, "Steeler Nation preparing to descend upon AT&T Stadium, and paying premium prices to do so," 7 Nov. 2020 Stand against the desecration of sacred Indigenous lands, or cheer on the construction of the border wall that purportedly protects tribal citizens? Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Elusive Dream of a Functioning Native Caucus," 2 Nov. 2020 Jim Klingbiel, who lives in the Marshfield area, showed up to cheer on the president. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Couldn't come at a crazier time': Voters brace for an election conducted in the grip of a pandemic," 31 Oct. 2020 Almost a year in remission, Dax’s mother will be sitting in the stands in LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday to cheer on her son. Norma Gonzalez, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Eye on the Y: Getting to know Zach Wilson a little bit more. Maybe too much?," 29 Oct. 2020 Student sections gathered around the courts to cheer on their representatives. Rob Peeters, The Indianapolis Star, "North Central's Ajay Mahenthiran wins boys state tennis finals," 27 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for cheer

Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cheer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for cheer


How to pronounce cheer (audio)

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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