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cheer on

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Encourage, as in The crowd was cheering on all the marathon runners. Originating in the 1400s simply as cheer, this usage was augmented by on in the early 1800s.

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

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