[ cher-uh b ]
/ ˈtʃɛr əb /

noun, plural cher·ubs for 3, 4; cher·u·bim [cher-uh-bim, -yoo-bim] /ˈtʃɛr ə bɪm, -yʊ bɪm/ for 1, 2.

a celestial being. Gen. 3:24; Ezek. 1, 10.
Theology. a member of the second order of angels, often represented as a beautiful rosy-cheeked child with wings.
a beautiful or innocent person, especially a child.
a person, especially a child, with a sweet, chubby, innocent face.


Origin of cherub

before 900; Middle English < Latin < Greek < Hebrew kərūbh; replacing Middle English cherubin, Old English c(h)erubin, cerubim (all singular) < Latin cherūbim < Greek < Hebrew kərūbhīm (plural)

Related forms

che·ru·bic [chuh-roo-bik] /tʃəˈru bɪk/, che·ru·bi·cal, adjectivecher·ub·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cherubim

British Dictionary definitions for cherubim


/ (ˈtʃɛrəb) /

noun plural cherubs or cherubim (ˈtʃɛrəbɪm, -ʊbɪm)

theol a member of the second order of angels, whose distinctive gift is knowledge, often represented as a winged child or winged head of a child
an innocent or sweet child

Derived Forms

cherubic (tʃəˈruːbɪk) or cherubical, adjectivecherubically, adverb

Word Origin for cherub

Old English, from Hebrew kěrūbh
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

Culture definitions for cherubim


[ (chair-uh-bim, chair-yuh-bim) ]

sing. cherub

One of the groups of the angels.


God is often described in the Old Testament as sitting on a throne supported by cherubim.


In the art of the Renaissance, cherubim (or cherubs) are depicted as chubby babies with wings. Hence, a person with a chubby, childlike face may be called “cherubic.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.