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

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
Related formscher·ish·a·ble, adjectivecher·ish·er, nouncher·ish·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·cher·ish, verb (used with object)o·ver·cher·ished, adjectiveun·cher·ished, adjectiveun·cher·ish·ing, adjectivewell-cher·ished, adjective

Synonyms for cherish

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Synonym study

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.

Antonyms for cherish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cherishing

Contemporary Examples of cherishing

Historical Examples of cherishing

  • This came, they said, of cherishing such creatures as the Pinches.

  • They owed her something, protection, or cherishing tenderness.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • Now, we cannot indict a man for cherishing hopes, or for encouraging them in others.

    The Arena


  • Will not Heaven be angry with me for cherishing such a wish?


    Maurus Jokai

  • Show that yours is so, I entreat, by cherishing the peace of the colony.

    The Hour and the Man

    Harriet Martineau

British Dictionary definitions for cherishing


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

Word Origin and History for cherishing



early 14c., cherischen, from Old French cheriss-, present participle stem of chierir "to hold dear" (12c., Modern French chérir), from chier "dear," from Latin carus "dear, costly, beloved" (see whore). The Latin word also is the source of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese caro; Old Provençal, Catalan car. Related: Cherished; cherishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper