[ cheer ]
See synonyms for cheer on
  1. a shout of encouragement, approval, congratulation, etc.: The cheers of the fans filled the stadium.

  2. a set or traditional form of shout used by spectators to encourage or show enthusiasm for an athletic team, contestant, etc., as rah! rah! rah!

  1. something that gives joy or gladness; encouragement; comfort: words of cheer.

  2. a state of feeling or spirits: She entered his room promptly at 7 a.m. with her usual good cheer.

  3. gladness, gaiety, or animation: Festivities will continue all week, with events and attractions spreading holiday cheer across the city.

  4. food and drink: tables laden with cheer.

  5. Archaic. facial expression.

  1. cheers, (used as a salutation or toast.)

verb (used with object)
  1. to salute with shouts of approval, congratulation, triumph, etc.: The team members cheered their captain.

  2. to gladden or cause joy to; inspire with cheer (often followed by up): The good news cheered her.

  1. to encourage or incite: She cheered him on when he was about to give up.

verb (used without object)
  1. to utter cheers of approval, encouragement, triumph, etc.

  2. to become happier or more cheerful (often followed by up): She cheered up as soon as the sun began to shine.

  1. Obsolete. to be or feel in a particular state of mind or spirits.

Idioms about cheer

  1. be of good cheer, (used as an exhortation to be cheerful): Be of good cheer! Things could be much worse.

  2. with good cheer, cheerfully; willingly: She accepted her lot with good cheer.

Origin of cheer

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English chere “face,” from Anglo-French; compare Old French chiere, from Late Latin cara “face, head,” from Greek kárā “head”

synonym study For cheer

10. Cheer, gladden, enliven mean to make happy or lively. To cheer is to comfort, to restore hope and cheerfulness to (now often cheer up, when thoroughness, a definite time, or a particular point in the action is referred to): to cheer a sick person; She soon cheered him up. To gladden does not imply a state of sadness to begin with, but suggests bringing pleasure or happiness to someone: to gladden someone's heart with good news. Enliven suggests bringing vivacity and liveliness: to enliven a dull evening, a party.

Other words for cheer

Opposites for cheer

Other words from cheer

  • cheerer, noun
  • cheer·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·cheered, adjective
  • un·cheer·ing, adjective
  • well-cheered, adjective

Words Nearby cheer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cheer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cheer


/ (tʃɪə) /

  1. (usually foll by up) to make or become happy or hopeful; comfort or be comforted

  2. to applaud with shouts

  1. (when tr, sometimes foll by on) to encourage (a team, person, etc) with shouts, esp in contests

  1. a shout or cry of approval, encouragement, etc, often using such words as hurrah! or rah! rah! rah!

  2. three cheers three shouts of hurrah given in unison by a group to honour someone or celebrate something

  1. happiness; good spirits

  2. state of mind; spirits (archaic, except in the phrases be of good cheer, with good cheer)

  3. archaic provisions for a feast; fare

Origin of cheer

C13 (in the sense: face, welcoming aspect): from Old French chere, from Late Latin cara face, from Greek kara head

Derived forms of cheer

  • cheerer, noun
  • cheeringly, adverb

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with cheer


In addition to the idioms beginning with cheer

  • cheer on
  • cheer up

also see:

  • three cheers

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.