Definition of cheer in English:

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Pronunciation: /CHir/


1 [no object] Shout for joy or in praise or encouragement: she cheered from the sidelines
More example sentences
  • As I came across the field I heard the crowd shouting and cheering as I got closer.
  • She could hear the crowd cheering loudly, shouting things she could not seem to grasp.
  • He shouted something in his language and the crowds cheered once more.
encourage, urge on, spur on, drive on, motivate, inspire, fire (up), inspirit, light a fire under
1.1 [with object] Praise or encourage with shouts: they cheered his emotional speech the cyclists were cheered on by the crowds
More example sentences
  • This is the only home game left in the league as the remaining three games are away and a large support to cheer the lads on would be appreciated.
  • As we walked into the TA our support crew cheered us on and we plopped into the chairs set out for us.
  • This was a close and exciting game with a huge number of supporters cheering their sides on.
applaud, hail, salute, shout for, root for, hurrah, hurray, acclaim, clap for;
encourage, support;
bring the house down for, holler for, give someone a big hand, put one's hands together for
2 [with object] Give comfort or support to: he seemed greatly cheered by my arrival
More example sentences
  • There is more cheering news for Cameron supporters, though.
  • It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.
  • Enlist the help of a life coach, friend, or family member to cheer you on in support.
raise someone's spirits, make happier, brighten, buoy up, enliven, exhilarate, hearten, gladden, uplift, perk up, boost, encourage, inspirit
informal buck up
2.1 (cheer someone up or cheer up) Make or become less miserable: [with object]: I asked her out to lunch to cheer her up [no object]: he cheered up at the sight of the food
More example sentences
  • He said he was thankful to his teachers, who had encouraged him and cheered him up when he was unhappy.
  • I did my best to cheer them up and encourage them.
  • They had taken care of her when she was sick, or hurt, and they had comforted and cheered her up when she was sad.
perk up, brighten (up), become more cheerful, liven up, rally, revive, bounce back, take heart
informal buck up


1A shout of encouragement, praise, or joy: a tremendous cheer from the audience
More example sentences
  • Then the room exploded into cheers and claps and catcalls.
  • Elizabeth's gay laugh mingled with the cheers and hollers of everyone out in the yard.
  • The watchers began to make wagers and to shout encouragements and cheers.
hurray, hurrah, whoop, bravo, shout, roar;
hosanna, alleluia;
(cheers) applause, acclamation, clamor, acclaim, ovation
1.1A brief phrase shouted in unison by a crowd, typically led by cheerleaders, in support of an athletic team.
Example sentences
  • BG will lead the cheer for you any day (cheerleaders are athletes, you know).
  • Ignoring the crowd's cheer, I jumped off the platform onto the arena.
  • The crowd let out another cheer, and the crowd had certainly grown.
2 (also good cheer) Cheerfulness, optimism, or confidence: an attempt to inject a little cheer into this gloomy season
More example sentences
  • They bring about an element of optimism and cheer in one's life.
  • It was good activist fun that brought cheer to the soul.
  • In today's world of stress and struggle it is a great thing if I can bring cheer, hope and liveliness to my family and surroundings.
happiness, joy, joyousness, cheerfulness, cheeriness, gladness, merriment, gaiety, jubilation, jollity, jolliness, high spirits, joviality, jocularity, conviviality, lightheartedness;
merrymaking, pleasure, rejoicing, revelry
2.1Food and drink provided for a festive occasion: they had partaken heartily of the Christmas cheer
More example sentences
  • With drink and festive cheer in excess, it's easy to throw caution to the wind and find yourself acting recklessly on a Christmas night out.
fare, food, foodstuffs, eatables, provender;
drink, beverages
informal eats, nibbles, nosh, grub, chow
formal victuals, comestibles



of good cheer

archaic Cheerful; optimistic.
Example sentences
  • It was to be a rosy day, full of good cheer and bright optimism.
  • With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer, it's the most wonderful time of the year.
  • For many folks, the holidays are a time to join family and loved ones in a blizzard of good cheer and heartwarming togetherness.

three cheers

Three successive hurrahs shouted to express appreciation or congratulation: three cheers for the winners!
More example sentences
  • It was a congratulations to him and a three cheers.
  • He and the other two waved the rest off and said three cheers to them.
  • The Commerce students of Fatima College topped the competitive list with high scores, receiving three cheers from the spectators.

what cheer?

archaic How are you?


Middle English: from Old French chiere 'face', from late Latin cara, from Greek kara 'head'. The original sense was 'face', hence 'expression, mood', later specifically 'a good mood'.

  • In medieval English the word cheer meant ‘face’, coming ultimately from Greek kara ‘head’. People came to use it to refer to the expression on someone's face, and hence to their mood or demeanour. This could be in either a positive or negative sense; you could talk, for example, about a person's ‘sorrowful cheer’ or ‘heavy cheer’. ‘What cheer?’ was once a common greeting meaning ‘how are you?’, and in the 19th century this eventually became worn down to wotcha. Over time cheer developed the specific meaning of ‘a good mood’ and then ‘a shout of encouragement or joy’. A Bronx cheer is a rude noise made by blowing through closed lips with the tongue between them—what is also called a raspberry.

Words that rhyme with cheer

adhere, Agadir, Anglosphere, appear, arrear, auctioneer, austere, balladeer, bandolier, Bashkir, beer, besmear, bier, blear, bombardier, brigadier, buccaneer, cameleer, career, cashier, cavalier, chandelier, charioteer, chevalier, chiffonier, clavier, clear, Coetzee, cohere, commandeer, conventioneer, Cordelier, corsetière, Crimea, dear, deer, diarrhoea (US diarrhea), domineer, Dorothea, drear, ear, electioneer, emir, endear, engineer, fear, fleer, Freer, fusilier, gadgeteer, Galatea, gazetteer, gear, gondolier, gonorrhoea (US gonorrhea), Greer, grenadier, hand-rear, hear, here, Hosea, idea, interfere, Izmir, jeer, Judaea, Kashmir, Keir, kir, Korea, Lear, leer, Maria, marketeer, Medea, Meir, Melilla, mere, Mia, Mir, mishear, mountaineer, muleteer, musketeer, mutineer, near, orienteer, pamphleteer, panacea, paneer, peer, persevere, pier, Pierre, pioneer, pistoleer, privateer, profiteer, puppeteer, racketeer, ratafia, rear, revere, rhea, rocketeer, Sapir, scrutineer, sear, seer, sere, severe, Shamir, shear, sheer, sincere, smear, sneer, sonneteer, souvenir, spear, sphere, steer, stere, summiteer, Tangier, tear, tier, Trier, Tyr, veer, veneer, Vere, Vermeer, vizier, volunteer, Wear, weir, we're, year, Zaïre

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cheer

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