\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), réclame

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

But all of those boos turned to cheers by the end of the afternoon. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds bullpen blows 5-run lead in loss to Chicago Cubs," 7 July 2018 And with that the man whose name had become synonymous with Louisville City walked up the stairs and into the locker room for the last time, entering to cheers from the men whose names will carry the club into the future. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "James O'Connor is leaving LouCity but his legacy will last forever," 1 July 2018 About one-fourth of the class, including Silvia Yanez, rose to raucous cheers. Nyssa Kruse,, "Tunxis Community College Celebrates Diversity At 2018 Commencement," 30 May 2018 Latin Satin Soul brings its rhythmic cheer to Whiting for an evening of outdoor music on July 20. Bob Kostanczuk, Post-Tribune, "Latin Satin Soul performs at free Whiting concert series," 12 July 2018 Like a less cheer-worthy Linden or Dumoulin, Gaze eventually caught back on and won. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "The Unwritten Rules of Sportsmanship," 15 May 2018 The other children all accept the boy, giving When the Kid an air of good cheer. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Do This / Film / LGBTQ+ The film shorts program ‘I’m Not Sure What You Mean?’ spotlights queer coming-of-age experiences," 24 Apr. 2018 At a nearby bar after the match, Orlando City fans could be seen toasting the victory with beers and cheers. Mike Bianchi, Pro Soccer USA, "Dom Dwyer lifts Orlando City to win, gives up jersey as tribute to fallen fan," 31 Mar. 2018 The ceremony was capped with their commander leading a rousing round of the navy cheer 'Hooyah!' that became a trademark of their never-say-die effort to extricate the boys. Fox News, "Mission accomplished and boys healthy, rescuers head home," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Thrill-seekers and music lovers can find something to cheer about in the entertainment offerings before, during and after the fair’s run. Luke Money,, "It's almost time to ‘Free Your Inner Farmer’ at the Orange County Fair," 8 July 2018 In an exuberant display of unity, more than 1,100 delegates sprang to their feet, whistling, cheering and offering prolonged applause. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Trade War Is a Big Problem for Republicans in Politically Pivotal Iowa," 6 July 2018 Early in June, the Jays were considering calling Guerrero up from Double-A, as that at least would have given fans something to cheer for. Jack Dickey,, "Midseason Report Card: Red Sox, Yankees Continue to Control the AL East," 29 June 2018 Supporters of free markets also have reason to cheer since the Court rebuked the antitrust (Ohio v. American Express ) and trial bars (Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis). The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Supreme Court’s Banner Year," 27 June 2018 While Messi’s fans have had their fair share of disappointment throughout the World Cup so far, fans of another famous soccer player — Cristiano Ronaldo — have had much to cheer about. Maria Pasquini,, "So Shook: Earthquake Sensors Set Off by Thrilled World Cup Fans After Mexico's Victory," 18 June 2018 Newspaper editorials across the nation cheered his conviction. Erick Trickey, Smithsonian, "When America’s Most Prominent Socialist Was Jailed for Speaking Out Against World War I," 15 June 2018 Padres fans might not have much to cheer about, sitting in last place of the National League West. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "San Diego Padres fan catches foul ball in beer cup, celebrates by chugging drink," 6 June 2018 Hyde, the losing pitcher in a 4-1 setback to Carlsbad in the first round, had plenty to cheer about Tuesday. Terry Monahan,, "Grossmont hitters join in pitcher’s fun for playoff win," 29 May 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

7 Nov 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).


a private place of worship

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