\ 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

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 Why: Sandwiches to go, music, and neighborhood cheer., "At Deep Cuts Deli, music and sandwiches exist in perfect harmony," 8 Apr. 2021 And when there are fans, having the crowd cheer for you, is just a dream come true. Tony Baranek,, "Column: A great career at Richards. A scary ride on an ATV. But now, Sarah Murczek is in the driver’s seat as a sophomore at Loyola.," 8 Apr. 2021 Features cocktail reception, formal dinner, live auction, silent auction, barrel of cheer and wine pull. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, "Things to do this week: April 5-11," 4 Apr. 2021 After the Bruins reached the Sweet 16, Jarmond reserved tickets for seniors involved in UCLA band, cheer or dance. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Martin Jarmond saves a seat at March Madness for UCLA’s spirited seniors," 1 Apr. 2021 Because of that, wrestling, along with boys and girls basketball and competitive cheer, are in the state’s yellow tier, the most restrictive for high school sports. Steve Brand, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Wrestling hopes for the best in salvaging season," 30 Mar. 2021 Richmond won its third straight Division 3 cheer title on Friday at the Breslin Center. Andrew Hammond, Detroit Free Press, "MHSAA cheerleading: Rochester Adams, Allen Park, Richmond, Hudson all repeat as champs," 27 Mar. 2021 Witt also coached girls’ golf and junior varsity cheer. William Thornton |, al, "Former teacher who argued Alabama’s no sex with students law was unconstitutional pleads guilty," 24 Mar. 2021 While the vaccine has brought cheer for many, people like Champa and Devi have no hope of their life getting back to normal any time soon. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, "One year since the world’s harshest lockdown, Indians want a “vaccine for poverty”," 24 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Others see it simply as an expressive way to cheer for their team, an unharmful tradition and an unnecessary application of political correctness. Marc Bona, cleveland, "No Native American face paint, headdresses allowed in Progressive Field for Indians games," 31 Mar. 2021 Rooney flew home that day, Super Bowl Sunday, making it back in time to cheer for her Kansas City Chiefs. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "'I can't believe this is happening': Travelers recount tales of getting stuck in Mexico after positive COVID tests," 28 Mar. 2021 The players had waited all season for the students to be allowed in during the time of COVID-19 to cheer for them. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "No. 15 Mountain View pulls stunning upset of No. 2 Mesa in first round of 6A boys basketball tourney," 12 Mar. 2021 In a typical year, large stages have to be constructed on the turf right as the second quarter ends, and a crowd of fans is rushed out to cheer for the performer. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "What We Learned From Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl Victory," 7 Feb. 2021 The fans are going to cheer for the other team and that’s the reality of situation. Gary Washburn,, "In the early going, Raptors have hit a road block," 9 Jan. 2021 There’s even more reasons to cheer for the likes of Dua Lipa, Capaldi, Harry Styles and British newcomer Nathan Dawe, all of whom scored multiple entries in the end-of-year Top 40 singles survey. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "The Weeknd's 'Blinding Lights' Rules U.K.'s 2020 Year-End Chart," 5 Jan. 2021 The family used to cheer for the Spartans when his older brother, Travis, played for Tom Izzo from 2011-15. Larry Lage, ajc, "Trice scores 29, No. 9 Wisconsin beats Michigan State 85-76," 25 Dec. 2020 This, too, took him back to his childhood and a mother who raised him to cheer for the Boston Celtics. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Photographer travels U.S. to chronicle a fading piece of Americana: old-school barbershops," 15 Nov. 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

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cheer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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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