\ 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 Pass these out to your quarantine pod to spread the cheer. Juno Demelo, Glamour, "30 Holiday Desserts to Win Your Virtual Bake-Off," 25 Dec. 2020 As the lights came on, each patient received fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, Santa’s personal favorite, which were baked by restauranteurs who donated their ovens to help spread the cheer. Brenda Cain, cleveland, "Santa sends bright message of love to hospitalized kids and veterans in Ohio (video)," 24 Dec. 2020 Since many children are struggling to learn remotely and don’t have access to their school library, Viagran thought books would be the perfect gift to spread holiday cheer. Liz Hardaway,, "‘I wanted to do something for families’ says councilwoman in holiday book giveaway on Southeast Side," 24 Dec. 2020 Allen Animal Services is asking residents to spread some holiday cheer to the local shelter pets this winter. Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "Allen collecting items to bring holiday cheer to shelter animals," 23 Dec. 2020 From extravagant Christmas trees to one-of-a-kind light displays in their yards, Houstonians put in a lot of work to help spread holiday cheer — but Regina Gust takes it a step further. Shacamree Gowdy, Chron, "This Houstonian is the Queen of Christmas," 22 Dec. 2020 Spread seasonal cheer by picking up the phone and getting in touch with friends and relatives. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 22, 2020: Virgo; think before you speak; Capricorn, gatherings may overwhelm you," 22 Dec. 2020 The holiday season is an opportunity to rediscover happiness before the year expires, a time to spread cheer and lift the spirits of your fellow man. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "In the midst of the Cold War, Alaska’s effort to spread Christmas cheer involved sending a small herd of reindeer to D.C.," 21 Dec. 2020 This jolly Saint Nick, who traded in Rudolph for this aircraft, was just trying to spread some holiday cheer. CBS News, "Paragliding Santa Claus rescued after getting caught In power lines in California," 21 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Female archers will cheer the 2021 Eva Shockey Gen 2. Jace Bauserman, Outdoor Life, "The Best New Compound Bows for 2021," 7 Jan. 2021 His parents then cheer, which makes Archie let out an adorable giggle. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Prince Harry and Meghan's son Archie heard speaking for the first time on podcast," 30 Dec. 2020 Hospital workers cheer on a patient leaving the ICU who was taken off of the ventilator after more than two weeks. James Barrett, Redbook, "Good News Report: Stories That Moved Us in 2020," 16 Dec. 2020 Nothing can cheer a girl up and put her in the holiday spirit quite like a great Christmas song! Rupaul Charles, Marie Claire, "Hark! The Herald Dolly Sings," 7 Dec. 2020 Soccer tickets will only be sold online, and cheerleaders can cheer at all games. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Dallas ISD won’t sell basketball tickets to general public, and if COVID-19 cases keep rising, then no fans may be allowed at DISD sporting events," 18 Nov. 2020 At the end of all of those dance scenes, the dancers would all cheer because everyone was moving so violently, but so beautifully. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "How Jingle Jangle forged a showstopper with musical number 'Make It Work Again'," 17 Nov. 2020 Partisans may cheer disinformation that confirms their views, as the crowd in Pennsylvania showed. The Economist, "The story of Hunter Biden and the diminishing returns to disinformation," 31 Oct. 2020 Unexpected meetings with a fascinating stranger can cheer you up and brighten your weekend. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Oct. 9, 2020: Leo, weekend is looking enjoyable; Scorpio, broaden your horizons," 9 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

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cheer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on cheer

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