\ 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.

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Before this week, Rabbi Irina Gritsevskaya’s last trip to Ukraine from her home in Israel was in January, when the city of Chernivtsi sparkled with Christmas lights and brimmed with cheer., 17 Mar. 2022 The parade of athletes from Taiwan — the island democracy that China says belongs to it — was greeted with a cheer from the crowd, as were the Russian competitors. Sarah Dilorenzo,, 4 Feb. 2022 The parade of athletes from Taiwan — the island democracy that China says belongs to it — was greeted with a cheer from the crowd, as were the Russian competitors. Sarah Dilorenzo, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Feb. 2022 The waiter tended to them with cheer, didn’t show impatience at Lea’s Italian. Ayşegül Savaş, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2022 The cheer and goodwill of the commenters gave the impression that aging is not just better than the alternative, but fairly fun. Jenny Singer, Glamour, 2 May 2022 Regardless, the numbers released on Thursday morning simply don't reflect or explain a lived experience of pain on the part of Americans, which makes the good cheer from the right seem especially foolish. Damon Linker, The Week, 29 Apr. 2022 But aside from the brief cheer on Moran’s foul line drive, the only big ovation on Saturday came when Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols made his first at-bat of the series. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 23 Apr. 2022 Wigs for Kids: Kids will have a chance participate in the cut-a-thon or cheer on volunteers who are donating their own hair to help make wigs for children experiencing hair loss. cleveland, 23 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dozens of residents rode buses to cheer for the Fountainview Place Yankees, ages 8-10, but with so many residents unable to travel, the Yankees came to them, bringing gifts like cologne and manicure sets. Gregg Doyel, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Apr. 2022 The point is how about everybody just settle down, celebrate and cheer for the team. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 13 Apr. 2022 Konno drove into Tijuana that Saturday afternoon to cheer for his company’s baseball team. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 Nolan Whitlock, a graduate student in his last year with Weber’s team, used to cheer for Utah State University, where the emphasis was on cheering the other sports teams on game day. The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Apr. 2022 Whoever isn’t going, cheer for those who are going. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Yet in Querétaro, a city of about a million that has suddenly been left without a team to cheer for in person, people have taken a nuanced view of the sanctions. Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2022 The Harder They Fall offers up a dozen or so to cheer for or against. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 18 Mar. 2022 The Portland Winterhawks didn’t give the home fans much to cheer for Wednesday, but two wins over the weekend put them in a good position through three games of a second-round WHL playoff series against the Seattle Thunderbirds. oregonlive, 12 May 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of cheer was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cheer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for cheer


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on cheer

Nglish: Translation of cheer for Spanish Speakers

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


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