\ 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 James Gunn shared a little holly-jolly cheer on Thursday, posting an update on the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special. Devan Coggan,, "James Gunn gets into the holiday spirit, teases Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas special," 22 Apr. 2021 The state finals for competitive cheer will be March 26-27, hockey March 27, team wrestling March 31 and individual wrestling April 2-3. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan high school basketball pushed back to Feb. 4 start; state finals April 9-10," 15 Jan. 2021 Not bleak, but wistful, conveying the way the relentless cultural push for seasonal cheer can stir up dormant undercurrents of sadness or longing. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: What the greatest Christmas song can teach us this year," 23 Dec. 2020 Try one in your kitchen, bath, or home office for some winter cheer. Lynn Coulter, Better Homes & Gardens, "5 of the Most Festive Flowering Houseplants for Holiday Decorating," 10 Dec. 2020 Event organizers are expecting a bigger crowd than usual this year, with many residents looking for some extra holiday cheer, said Ralph Sobel, Lake Interlochen Homeowner Association President. Brayden Garcia, Dallas News, "Arlington Christmas light tradition to continue on for 45th year of holiday cheer," 9 Dec. 2020 Being unnerved by your mother’s request for help, or calling it tacky, is too emphatic for holiday cheer. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Relatives request gift guidance, not itemized wish lists," 9 Dec. 2020 String this eye-catching number across the mantle or weave it between the banister for some Hanukkah cheer. Kate Bratskeir, CNN Underscored, "Celebrate Hanukkah this year with these sweet decorations," 2 Dec. 2020 Once everyone was settled in, a welcome message sounded from speakers; it was greeted with a cheer. New York Times, "Performing Arts Make a Cautious Return in New York," 4 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After Erica and Geoff break up, Murray tries to cheer up Erica by taking her out, and Adam is excited then apprehensive about participating in the senior prank. Washington Post, "What to watch Wednesday: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ returns on Hulu," 28 Apr. 2021 One thing that did not change were the party-line reactions, as members of the president’s party jumped to their feet to cheer his ideas, while the opposition remained sitting on their hands — with a few notable exceptions. New York Times, "Biden Seeks Shift in How the Nation Serves Its People," 28 Apr. 2021 As people around the country went into the streets to cheer the conviction, some businesses in Portland boarded up their windows once again., "After nearly a year of unrest, Portland leaders pursue a crackdown," 27 Apr. 2021 Minnesota United fans came to Allianz Field on Saturday to cheer their team for the first time in 18 months and left with very little to applaud except for a late goal and a return to some normalcy in a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, "Minnesota United pushes the pace vs. Real Salt Lake but loses 2-1," 24 Apr. 2021 Now people in the stands are cheering for Johnson, and the Bowling Green State commit gave them plenty to cheer about Friday night. Jeff Vorva,, "Jamal Johnson and defending Class 8A state champion Lincoln-Way East emerge from ‘crazy season’ unbeaten again after win against Lincoln-Way West," 24 Apr. 2021 But about 20 minutes after the final buzzer sounded, hundreds of fans waited near the Warriors’ tunnel to cheer one player: Curry. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Steph Curry, Warriors give fans a show in convincing win over Nuggets," 23 Apr. 2021 It’s so strange to win races and nobody is here to cheer and celebrate with. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: How to change the Oaks points system," 19 Apr. 2021 At the conclusion of the successful drive, teachers also lined up the boxes like dominoes along the sidewalk and let the students watch and cheer as the boxes fell one by one in succession to help knock down hunger. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "Kindergarten students learn about hunger, kindness and sharing: Valley Views," 19 Apr. 2021

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

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cheer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 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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