\ ˈchir How to pronounce cheer (audio) \

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

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

The bat was moving slow enough that the fan caught it and was not harmed, smiling and waiving when the fans gave him a rousing cheer. Doug Alden,, "Bogaerts homers as Red Sox beat White Sox in rain," 26 June 2019 Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic, who grew up in suburban Vancouver, received a big cheer from the crowd before announcing the fourth pick. John Wawrow, Houston Chronicle, "Devils select U.S. center Jack Hughes with 1st pick in NHL draft," 21 June 2019 After half an hour, far off, a cheer went up, and suddenly the crowds were returning, some people at a run, to reclaim choice spots in the pines. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Inside the Cultish Dreamworld of Augusta National," 14 June 2019 When Jesse Bingham scored his first basket of the weekend with 16:34 left in the game, a cheer went up from the suite in Section 117, where Bingham’s family was seated (or standing and jumping up and down at that moment). Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana All-Stars: Dawand Jones has fun in his basketball swan song," 9 June 2019 Three more batters reached before finally, mercifully, Jorge Alfaro was caught looking at a third strike, a moment that drew a huge cheer from what was left of the crowd. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marlins 16, Brewers 0: A laugher from the very start," 4 June 2019 Morale was high though, and troops let out a cheer when the French coast was sighted. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Return of 'That’s All, Brother': The Plane That Led the D-Day Invasion," 4 June 2019 During Sunday night’s game the heart and soul and cheer squad captain of the Raptors was fouled out with just under four minutes left in the fourth. Courtney Shea,, "How To Become A Raptors Superfan (In 5 Minutes Or Less)," 5 June 2019 The YouTuber was also on her high school cheer team for a year before got kicked off the team. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "10 Facts About Emma Chamberlain Only Real Fans Will Know," 3 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fans cheered Ibaka, who scored just as Durant fell Much has been said of the lack of class shown by the Toronto fans when Kevin Durant re-injured his Achilles. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Fans cheered Ibaka, who scored just as Durant fell," 17 June 2019 The irony: This all happened the day after Canadian sports fans cheered when NBA superstar Kevin Durant suffered a serious injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: U.S. women's World Cup team sparks debate about sportsmanship that's a few decades too late," 13 June 2019 Toronto fans initially cheered as Durant lay on the floor as Ibaka stole the ball. Gary Washburn,, "The Warriors suffered a big loss, then showed they weren’t going down without a fight," 11 June 2019 Fans cheered whenever one of the A’s fouled off one of his pitches. Monte Umsted, Pomerado News, "Trio combines for perfect Poway city championship win," 10 June 2019 Lead vocalist Florence Welch emerged on stage wearing a flowing white dress while fans, some donning rainbow hearts or flags and sparkling face paint, cheered excitedly. Patrick Connolly,, "Pictures: Florence and the Machine performs at Amway Center," 7 June 2019 Fans cheered on Cardi's breastfeeding moment on social media after the video was released. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Cardi B Breastfeeds in Her Insanely Epic "Money" Music Video," 21 Dec. 2018 The act definitely isn’t for everyone, and although fans cheer during the America’s Got Talent episodes, some viewers vocally dislike them on social media. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Simon Cowell Demands Heidi Klum Change Her Vote During Last Night's 'America's Got Talent'," 22 Aug. 2018 Although Mexico didn’t score, the fans cheered loudly every time the Mexican goalie saved a Brazilian shot. Gustavo Solis,, "San Diegans watch Mexico get eliminated from World Cup," 2 July 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

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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Statistics for cheer

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on cheer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheer

Spanish Central: Translation of cheer

Nglish: Translation of cheer for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on cheer

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food or victuals

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