See more synonyms for cherry on
noun, plural cher·ries.
  1. the fruit of any of various trees belonging to the genus Prunus, of the rose family, consisting of a pulpy, globular drupe enclosing a one-seeded smooth stone.
  2. the tree bearing such a fruit.
  3. the wood of such a tree.
  4. any of various fruits or plants resembling the cherry.
  5. bright red; cerise.
  6. Slang: Often Vulgar.
    1. the hymen.
    2. the state of virginity.
  7. Slang.
    1. something new or unused.
    2. a novice.
  8. Underworld Slang. a first offender.
  9. Bowling. the striking down of only the forward pin or pins in attempting to make a spare.
  1. bright-red; cerise.
  2. (of food and beverages) made with or containing cherries or cherrylike flavoring: cherry pie; cherry soda.
  3. (of furniture, woodwork, etc.) made of or covered or decorated with wood from the cherry tree.
  4. Slang: Often Vulgar. being a virgin.
  5. Slang.
    1. new or unused: a three-year-old car in cherry condition.
    2. inexperienced; being an innocent novice.

Origin of cherry

1300–50; Middle English cheri variant of chirie, back formation from Old English ciris- (taken for plural) ≪ Vulgar Latin *ceresium for *cerasium (Latin cerasum) < Greek kerásion cherry
Related formscher·ry·like, adjective
Can be confusedchérie cherry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cherries


noun plural -ries
  1. any of several trees of the rosaceous genus Prunus, such as P. avium (sweet cherry), having a small fleshy rounded fruit containing a hard stoneSee also bird cherry
  2. the fruit or wood of any of these trees
  3. any of various unrelated plants, such as the ground cherry and Jerusalem cherry
    1. a bright red colour; cerise
    2. (as adjective)a cherry coat
  4. slang virginity or the hymen as its symbol
  5. (modifier) of or relating to the cherry fruit or woodcherry tart
Derived Formscherry-like, adjective

Word Origin for cherry

C14: back formation from Old English ciris (mistakenly thought to be plural), ultimately from Late Latin ceresia, perhaps from Latin cerasus cherry tree, from Greek kerasios
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 cherries



c.1300, earlier in surname Chyrimuth (1266, literally "Cherry-mouth"); from Anglo-French cherise, from Old North French cherise (Old French, Modern French cerise, 12c.), from Vulgar Latin *ceresia, from late Greek kerasian "cherry," from Greek kerasos "cherry tree," possibly from a language of Asia Minor. Mistaken in Middle English for a plural and stripped of its -s (cf. pea).

Old English had ciris "cherry" from a West Germanic borrowing of the Vulgar Latin word (cf. German Kirsch), but it died out after the Norman invasion and was replaced by the French word. Meaning "maidenhead, virginity" is from 1889, U.S. slang, from supposed resemblance to the hymen, but perhaps also from the long-time use of cherries as a symbol of the fleeting quality of life's pleasures.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper