[ cher-ish ]
/ ˈtʃɛr ɪʃ /
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See synonyms for: cherish / cherished / cherishes / cherishing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
to hold or treat as dear; feel love for: to cherish one's native land.
to care for tenderly; nurture: to cherish a child.
to cling fondly or inveterately to: to cherish a memory.
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Origin of cherish

1275–1325; Middle English cherisshen<Middle French cheriss- (long stem of cherir), equivalent to cher dear (<Latin cārus) + -iss-ish2; akin to charity

synonym study for cherish

1, 2. Cherish, foster, harbor imply giving affection, care, or shelter to something. Cherish suggests regarding or treating something as an object of affection or as valuable: to cherish a friendship. Foster implies sustaining and nourishing something with care, especially in order to promote, increase, or strengthen it: to foster a hope; to foster enmity. Harbor suggests giving shelter to or entertaining something undesirable, especially evil thoughts or intentions: to harbor malice or a grudge.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does cherish mean?

Cherish means to treasure—to hold or treat something as dear and often loved.

The word implies a deep and active appreciation of the person or thing that’s cherished.

The word is especially applied to loved ones, relationships, and fond memories of the time spent with such people. It can also be used in the context of possessions that are very special to you, such as a family heirloom or a favorite toy from childhood. Still, such objects are usually cherished due to their connection to a loved one. For example, you might cherish a locket with a photo of your grandmother in it, or a stuffed animal that your dad won for you at a carnival.

Things that you cherish can be described with the adjective cherished, as in These are my most cherished possessions. 

Example: I love my grandma so much and cherish the time we get to spend together.

Where does cherish come from?

The first records of the word cherish come from around 1300. It comes from the Old French cherir, from cher, meaning “dear,” from the Latin cārus (which is also the basis for the words charity and caress).

The phrase love and cherish is part of many traditional wedding vows. To cherish someone is to hold them dear—to care about them deeply in a way that makes you treasure them and show them how much you treasure them. In this way, the word implies an active appreciation. Sometimes, it’s only after we lose someone that we realize that we should have done more to cherish them.

The adjective cherished means the same thing as treasured. Things that are described as cherished usually have some deep significance to the person who cherishes them.

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What are some other forms of cherish?

  • cherished (past tense verb, adjective)
  • cherishable (adjective)
  • cherisher (noun)
  • cherishingly (adverb)

What are some synonyms for cherish?

  • treasure (when treasure is used as a verb)

What are some words that share a root or word element with cherish


What are some words that often get used in discussing cherish?

How is cherish used in real life?

The word cherish is most commonly used in discussion of what people hold dear, especially loved ones and memories of them.



Try using cherish!

Is the adjective cherished used correctly in the following sentence?

I’m sad to tell you that we lost our cherished dog today.

How to use cherish in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cherish

/ (ˈtʃɛrɪʃ) /

verb (tr)
to show great tenderness for; treasure
to cling fondly to (a hope, idea, etc); nurseto cherish ambitions

Derived forms of cherish

cherishable, adjectivecherisher, nouncherishingly, adverb

Word Origin for cherish

C14: from Old French cherir, from cher dear, from Latin cārus
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