a person who leads spectators in traditional or formal cheering, especially at a pep rally or athletic event.

Origin of cheerleader

An Americanism dating back to 1900–05; cheer + leader Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cheerleader

Contemporary Examples of cheerleader

Historical Examples of cheerleader

  • Too bad none of them ever crashed, or landed on the Yale football field and said Take me to your cheerleader, or something.

    I'm a Stranger Here Myself

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for cheerleader



a person who leads a crowd in formal cheers, esp at sports events
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

Word Origin and History for cheerleader

also cheer-leader, 1900, American English, from cheer (n.) + leader. Cheerleading is attested from 1906.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper