\ 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 There will be no cheers from family and friends gathered in high school gymnasiums this month or next., "Metro Detroit high schoolers share memories, challenges and dreams amid pandemic," 17 May 2020 Riverside County residents who want public health orders rescinded cheer during an emergency meeting of the Board of Supervisors on May 8. Kailyn Brown, Los Angeles Times, "Rebellion in Inland Empire over masks: ‘I’m not afraid. ... People get old and they die’," 11 May 2020 Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, or at least half my life @instasuelos cheers to 24 years! Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Post Super PDA-Filled Instagrams for Their Anniversary," 2 May 2020 What began in the streets of Italy has made its way to America -- cheers, singing and applause every night to thank health heroes. James Barrett, Redbook, "Good News and Inspiring Stories From the Pandemic to Lift Your Spirits," 6 Apr. 2020 The crowd’s cheers quickly turned into boos as attendees began pointing out the man in the back, waving the red, black, and white flag. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "'Unspeakable': Sanders says he 'never expected in my life as an American to see' Nazi flag at rally," 8 Mar. 2020 At a ticker-tape parade in New York, a few days later, the same cheer resounded. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "The U.S. Soccer Team Is Still Fighting for Equal Treatment," 4 May 2020 The Ramadan Lights Challenge invites families to really jazz up their yearly lights display to bring a little cheer to everyone that passes by. Aj Willingham, CNN, "All The Good Stuff that happened this week," 2 May 2020 Don't jinx it Fans huddled around portable radios and televisions at the Bucks game at the Milwaukee Arena that night, and cheers erupted around the building when the game went final. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Juan Nieves records the Brewers' only no-hitter," 28 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, John and his wife were cheered in a ticker-tape parade in New York City. Joe Hallett,, "Annie Glenn, widow of American icon John Glenn, dies at 100 from COVID-19," 19 May 2020 Meanwhile, the owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr opened their doors at 8 a.m. Monday with a group of people cheering, according to media reports. Kim Jarrett, Washington Examiner, "Gov. Murphy offers details on three phases of New Jersey's reopening plan," 19 May 2020 Would anyone — even a fake crowd — ever cheer the Arizona Cardinals? Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Piping in fan noise for NFL games is a bad idea. Here's why we kind of love it," 14 May 2020 Many communities have been cheering, clapping, and waving encouraging signs at a specific time each day, coming out onto their front stoops, balconies, and rooftops to support their healthcare workers. Elizabeth Gulino,, "The Best Signs & Cards People Are Using To Thank Hospital Workers," 12 May 2020 On the Westerdam, the remaining passengers were cheered by news that the tests on fellow travelers have come back negative. Philip Heijmans,, "A Single Cruise Guest Sparks a Global Rush to Contain Virus," 10 May 2020 But as states have defied that criteria to begin restarting business activity - from retail stores in Colorado to restaurants in Florida to elective surgeries in Ohio - they have been cheered on by Trump and his allies. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump cheers on governors as they ignore White House coronovirus guidelines in race to reopen," 5 May 2020 With traffic mostly off the streets, people are on them, strolling, jogging, biking, cheering each other on, and just happy to be outside of their homes for a little bit. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "With the coronavirus, an opportunity to reinvent Dallas," 30 Apr. 2020 Hospital workers wearing scrubs cheered and clapped as the sirens blared. David Petkiewicz, cleveland, "Parma Fire Department and five other area departments salute frontline workers at University Hospitals in Parma (photos, video)," 23 Apr. 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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cheer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on cheer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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