cheer·​lead·​er | \ ˈchir-ˌlē-dər How to pronounce cheerleader (audio) \

Definition of cheerleader

: one that calls for and directs organized cheering (as at a football game)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cheerleader

cheerlead \ ˈchir-​ˌlēd How to pronounce cheerlead (audio) \ verb, transitive + intransitive
cheerleading \ ˈchir-​ˌlē-​diŋ How to pronounce cheerleading (audio) \ noun

Examples of cheerleader in a Sentence

a politician who is a cheerleader for the government's new economic plan

Recent Examples on the Web

Brittany Murphy plays an artless, dorky pageant contestant named Lisa, and Amy Adams is Leslie, a contestant who occupies the obligatory role of slutty cheerleader. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "“Drop Dead Gorgeous,” Which Is Finally Streaming, Is Possibly My Favorite Movie of All Time," 5 July 2019 There have also been public performances, including cheerleaders dancing to a peppy song about recycling and traditional drumming troupes battering away at rubbish bins. The Economist, "Cheerleaders and police usher in a new era of trash-sorting," 4 July 2019 Abrams described his producing role as something of a cheerleader who helped with publicity and fundraising, among other things. Deborah Vankin,, "J.J. Abrams, theater producer: First ‘The Play That Goes Wrong,’ then two magic shows," 2 July 2019 Shocking footage shows the moment a cheerleader brawled with a bully after she was punched in the head. Fox News, "Video shows cheerleader brawling with 'bully' after trying to make peace," 10 Sep. 2018 Then the oglers reportedly handpicked cheerleaders to escort them to a nightclub. Washington Post, "The Redskins cheerleaders cheer on the home team and urge them to fight. Now they’ve got to fight for themselves.," 5 May 2018 One restrictive rule even forced cheerleaders to immediately exit a restaurant if a player walked in. Diane Herbst,, "Ex-NFL Cheerleader Quit After Concerns About Her Virginity; Inside the 'Messed Up’ Cheer Culture," 24 Apr. 2018 Despite her protests, the team said the posting of that photo violated a team policy that prohibited cheerleaders from appearing nude, seminude or in lingerie, the report said. Doug Maccash,, "51 Saintsations finalists include one man," 24 Apr. 2018 Sister Francis Michael Finsterbush, the school’s coordinator of finance and development, played chief cheerleader with a third-grade class working on an online math game. Melanie Burney,, "Catholic schools have fewer nuns as teachers than they used to," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cheerleader.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cheerleader

1890, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cheerleader

Statistics for cheerleader

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cheerleader

The first known use of cheerleader was in 1890

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cheerleader



English Language Learners Definition of cheerleader

: a person who is a member of a group (typically a group of young women) who shout out special songs or chants to encourage the team and entertain the crowd during a game in sports like American football and basketball
: a person who encourages other people to do or support something

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cheerleader

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheerleader

Spanish Central: Translation of cheerleader

Nglish: Translation of cheerleader for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cheerleader for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cheerleader

What made you want to look up cheerleader? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having no luck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!