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Syllabification: cher·ub
Pronunciation: /ˈCHerəb

Definition of cherub in English:

noun (plural cherubim /ˈCHerəb/)

1A winged angelic being described in biblical tradition as attending on God. It is represented in ancient Middle Eastern art as a lion or bull with eagles' wings and a human face, and regarded in traditional Christian angelology as an angel of the second highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.
Example sentences
  • From top to bottom, the celestial hierarchy includes seraphim, cherubim, thrones; dominions, virtues, powers; principalities, archangels, and angels.
  • So with all the angels and saints, with the cherubim and seraphim, let's all bow down in worship before the Lamb of God, who has ransomed us from death and brought us into his eternal kingdom!
  • Third, Satan was the anointed cherub.
1.1 (plural cherubim or cherubs) A representation of a cherub in art, depicted as a chubby, healthy-looking child with wings.
Example sentences
  • The existence of the tiles depicting the cherubim is fully explained.
  • The chubby cherub can put in a good word with God.
  • She smiled, and looked very much like a pink-haired version of the cherubs in Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
1.2 (plural cherubs) A beautiful or innocent-looking child.
Example sentences
  • He was a proper cherub with beautiful blond hair and blue eyes.
  • Fleshy babies and fresh-cheeked cherubs vie for attention.
  • For just two minutes now, she'd held the tiny cherubs in her arms.
baby, infant, toddler, little angel, (tiny) tot
literary babe, babe in arms


Old English cherubin, ultimately (via Latin and Greek) from Hebrew kĕrūḇ, plural kĕrūḇīm. A rabbinic folk etymology, which explains the Hebrew singular form as representing Aramaic kĕ-raḇyā 'like a child', led to the representation of the cherub as a child.

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