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[cher-ee] /ˈtʃɛr i/
noun, plural cherries.
the fruit of any of various trees belonging to the genus Prunus, of the rose family, consisting of a pulpy, globular drupe enclosing a one-seeded smooth stone.
the tree bearing such a fruit.
the wood of such a tree.
any of various fruits or plants resembling the cherry.
bright red; cerise.
Slang: Often Vulgar.
  1. the hymen.
  2. the state of virginity.
  1. something new or unused.
  2. a novice.
Underworld Slang. a first offender.
Bowling. the striking down of only the forward pin or pins in attempting to make a spare.
bright-red; cerise.
(of food and beverages) made with or containing cherries or cherrylike flavoring:
cherry pie; cherry soda.
(of furniture, woodwork, etc.) made of or covered or decorated with wood from the cherry tree.
Slang: Often Vulgar. being a virgin.
  1. new or unused:
    a three-year-old car in cherry condition.
  2. inexperienced; being an innocent novice.
Origin of cherry
1300-50; Middle English cheri variant of chirie, back formation from Old English ciris- (taken for plural) ≪ Vulgar Latin *ceresium for *cerasium (Latin cerasum) < Greek kerásion cherry
Related forms
cherrylike, adjective
Can be confused
chérie, cherry.


[cher-ee] /ˈtʃɛr i/
Donald Eugene ("Don") 1936–95, U.S. jazz trumpeter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cherry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If she had said she was lonely because the cherry bookcase was in Paris, he could not have been more bewildered.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • They are very good, always retaining the taste of the cherry.

  • The small cherries, called the Indian cherry, are frequent in this country.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
  • I tried to remember the most of it, but my head was whirling—and not from cherry rum, either.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • And stronger wings than these are plied in the cherry tree's service.

British Dictionary definitions for cherry


noun (pl) -ries
any of several trees of the rosaceous genus Prunus, such as P. avium (sweet cherry), having a small fleshy rounded fruit containing a hard stone See also bird cherry
the fruit or wood of any of these trees
any of various unrelated plants, such as the ground cherry and Jerusalem cherry
  1. a bright red colour; cerise
  2. (as adjective): a cherry coat
(slang) virginity or the hymen as its symbol
(modifier) of or relating to the cherry fruit or wood: cherry tart
Derived Forms
cherry-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: back formation from Old English ciris (mistakenly thought to be plural), ultimately from Late Latin ceresia, perhaps from Latin cerasus cherry tree, from Greek kerasios
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cherry

c.1300, earlier in surname Chyrimuth (1266, literally "Cherry-mouth"); from Anglo-French cherise, from Old North French cherise (Old French, Modern French cerise, 12c.), from Vulgar Latin *ceresia, from late Greek kerasian "cherry," from Greek kerasos "cherry tree," possibly from a language of Asia Minor. Mistaken in Middle English for a plural and stripped of its -s (cf. pea).

Old English had ciris "cherry" from a West Germanic borrowing of the Vulgar Latin word (cf. German Kirsch), but it died out after the Norman invasion and was replaced by the French word. Meaning "maidenhead, virginity" is from 1889, U.S. slang, from supposed resemblance to the hymen, but perhaps also from the long-time use of cherries as a symbol of the fleeting quality of life's pleasures.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cherry



  1. Virgin; sexually uninitiated: She confessed she was cherry
  2. In an unproved or maiden state of any sort: He hasn't published anything yet; still cherry


In mint condition; pristine: Mint is what I'm saying. Cherry/ including cherry restorations of Belairs and Fairlanes from the Fifties (1950s+ Hot rodders)


  1. A virgin, of either sex (1935+)
  2. Virginity: Does he still have his cherry? (1928+)
  3. The hymen
  4. An inexperienced soldier sent to the front lines as a replacement: A Cherry who survived long enough earned the right to harass the next rookie (Army)

Related Terms

cop a cherry, have one's cherry, pop someone's cherry

[sexual senses fr the fancied resemblance between the hymen and a cherry]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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