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


  1. Donald EugeneDon, 1936–95, U.S. jazz trumpeter. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cherry

Contemporary Examples of cherry

Historical Examples of cherry

  • If she had said she was lonely because the cherry bookcase was in Paris, he could not have been more bewildered.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • They are very good, always retaining the taste of the cherry.

  • The small cherries, called the Indian cherry, are frequent in this country.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz

  • I tried to remember the most of it, but my head was whirling—and not from cherry rum, either.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • And stronger wings than these are plied in the cherry tree's service.

British Dictionary definitions for cherry


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 cherry

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