- a shout of encouragement, approval, congratulation, etc.: The cheers of the fans filled the stadium.
- a set or traditional form of shout used by spectators to encourage or show enthusiasm for an athletic team, contestant, etc., as rah! rah! rah!
- something that gives joy or gladness; encouragement; comfort: words of cheer.
- a state of feeling or spirits: Their good cheer overcame his depression.
- gladness, gaiety, or animation: full of cheer and good spirits.
- food and drink: tables laden with cheer.
- Archaic. facial expression.
- cheers, (used as a salutation or toast.)
verb (used with object)
- to salute with shouts of approval, congratulation, triumph, etc.: The team members cheered their captain.
- to gladden or cause joy to; inspire with cheer (often followed by up): The good news cheered her.
- to encourage or incite: She cheered him on when he was about to give up.
verb (used without object)
- to utter cheers of approval, encouragement, triumph, etc.
- to become happier or more cheerful (often followed by up): She cheered up as soon as the sun began to shine.
- Obsolete. to be or feel in a particular state of mind or spirits.
- be of good cheer, (used as an exhortation to be cheerful): Be of good cheer! Things could be much worse.
- with good cheer, cheerfully; willingly: She accepted her lot with good cheer.
- (usually foll by up) to make or become happy or hopeful; comfort or be comforted
- to applaud with shouts
- (when tr, sometimes foll by on) to encourage (a team, person, etc) with shouts, esp in contests
- a shout or cry of approval, encouragement, etc, often using such words as hurrah! or rah! rah! rah!
- three cheers three shouts of hurrah given in unison by a group to honour someone or celebrate something
- happiness; good spirits
- state of mind; spirits (archaic, except in the phrases be of good cheer, with good cheer)
- archaic provisions for a feast; fare
c.1200, “the face,” especially as expressing emotion, from Anglo-French chere “the face,” Old French chiere “face, countenance, look, expression,” from Late Latin cara “face” (source of Spanish cara), possibly from Greek kara “head,” from PIE root *ker- “head” (see horn (n.)). From mid-13c. as “frame of mind, state of feeling, spirit; mood, humor.”
By late 14c. the meaning had extended metaphorically to “mood, mental condition,” as reflected in the face. This could be in a good or bad sense (“The feend … beguiled her with treacherye, and brought her into a dreerye cheere,” “Merline,” c.1500), but a positive sense (probably short for good cheer) has predominated since c.1400. Meaning “shout of encouragement” first recorded 1720, perhaps nautical slang (cf. earlier verbal sense, “to encourage by words or deeds,” early 15c.). The antique English greeting what cheer (mid-15c.) was picked up by Algonquian Indians of southern New England from the Puritans and spread in Indian languages as far as Canada.
late 14c., “to cheer up, humor, console;” c.1400 as “entertain with food or drink,” from cheer (n.). Related: Cheered; cheering. Sense of “to encourage by words or deeds” is early 15c. Which had focused to “salute with shouts of applause” by late 18c. Cheer up (intransitive) first attested 1670s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with cheer
- cheer on
- cheer up
- three cheers