The Meaning of Cherish: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of cherish? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word cherish, including its definition, usage, etymology, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word cherish mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Dictionary, the word cherish (pronounced ) is a verb that means to treasure, or to hold something dear. This word can be used in reference to any number of things, from people, to things, to ideas. This is a transitive verb, meaning that it has to be used with an object. Someone who cherishes something has a great tenderness for their object of affection. Someone could cherish a pleasant memory of this visit or vacation for a long period of time, or cherish their precious heritage or native land on behalf of its future evolution. Other people might cherish their freedom of speech or their cherished dream of a world full of peace. Someone could even cherish their ambitions if they have done much soul searching or if they have enough imagination. People can have lengthy discussions about things that they cherish, from privilege to taking good care fine rugs their grandmother found at a flea market. Try thinking about beautiful memories that you cherish!

Many different languages also contain words that mean cherish. If you look in a Spanish dictionary or a German dictionary, you may notice that some of these words look or sound similar to the word cherish. Words that look and sound similar as well as mean the same thing across different languages are called cognates. These are often formed when two words have the same root word or language of origin such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word cherish is provided by Word Sense

  • Mandarin: 愛護‎, 爱护‎ (àihù), 珍視‎, 珍视‎ (zhēnshì), 珍愛‎, 珍爱‎ (zhēn’ài)
  • Finnish: vaalia‎
  • French: chérir‎, tenir‎
  • Tagalog: pangalagaan‎
  • Japanese: 大事‎
  • Maori: mirā‎, raupī‎
  • German: hegen‎
  • Portuguese: adorar‎
  • Dutch: koesteren‎
  • Scottish Gaelic: altraim‎
  • Russian: хо́лить‎ (impf), леле́ять‎ (impf)
  • Spanish: tener mucho cariño a‎

How can the word cherish be used in a sentence?

The word cherish can be used in many different contexts to describe the action of treasuring something. Below are a few examples of sentences that contain the word cherish. 

Malia cherished the time she has with her brother before he moved across the country to go to college.

Hannah cherishes the time she has to herself – growing up with eleven siblings meant that was rare, and as an adult, she loves to have a night in alone.

The whole family cherished the new baby.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word cherish?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word cherish. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying not to repeat yourself as well as if you are trying to expand your vocabulary in an easy way. This list of synonyms for the word cherish is provided by Thesaurus

  • worship
  • value
  • appreciate
  • exalt
  • admire
  • attend
  • go for
  • mind the store
  • guard
  • prefer
  • be crazy about
  • be enamored of
  • defend
  • care for
  • shelter
  • be enchanted by
  • cultivate
  • love
  • fall for
  • keep tabs on
  • sustain
  • dote on
  • pay attention to
  • have it bad
  • like
  • support
  • hug
  • hold high
  • treasure
  • nourish
  • delight in
  • be fond of
  • watch
  • cleave to
  • foster
  • reverence
  • shield
  • embrace
  • idolize
  • fancy
  • safeguard
  • put on pedestal
  • watch over
  • baby sit
  • entertain
  • fondle
  • gone on
  • provide for
  • coddle
  • have affection for
  • keep an eye on
  • harbor
  • mind
  • nurture
  • canonize
  • be captivated by
  • mother
  • tend
  • adulate
  • protect
  • consider
  • be in love with
  • nurse
  • take pains
  • pet
  • deify
  • prize
  • encourage
  • wait on
  • enshrine
  • hold dear
  • thrive with
  • apprize
  • cosset
  • esteem
  • lose one’s heart to
  • minister
  • venerate
  • clasp
  • wild for
  • be fascinated with
  • think the world of
  • be attached to
  • preserve
  • long for
  • comfort
  • ride herd on
  • look after
  • hold in high esteem
  • honor
  • revere
  • glorify
  • choose
  • sit
  • adore
  • cling to

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word cherish. These are called antonyms, which are another great way to easily expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word cherish is also provided by Thesaurus

  • detest
  • misprize
  • spit upon
  • be repelled by
  • pay no mind
  • let off easy
  • disdain
  • brush aside
  • can’t stand
  • shun
  • loathe
  • abominate
  • contemn
  • despise
  • disapprove
  • disfavor
  • be reluctant
  • flout
  • scorn
  • have enough of
  • undesriable
  • discount
  • shut eyes to
  • bear a grudge against
  • pass over
  • allergic to
  • recoil from
  • be hostile to
  • execrate
  • laugh off
  • shudder at
  • be loath
  • look the other way
  • eschew
  • turn a deaf ear
  • abhor
  • snub
  • disregard
  • be sorry
  • be sick of
  • deride
  • neglect
  • have no use for
  • look down nose at
  • let pass
  • wink at
  • let go
  • wipe out
  • omit
  • forget
  • reject
  • feel malice to
  • object to
  • nauseate
  • pay no heed to
  • brush away
  • be disgusted with
  • hate
  • blink at
  • miss
  • tune out
  • slight
  • have an aversion to
  • curse
  • repudiate
  • cold-shoulder
  • feel contempt for
  • brush off
  • leave out of account
  • pay no attention to
  • not care for
  • turn a blind eye
  • overlook
  • down on
  • look down on
  • disparage
  • disobey
  • overpass
  • ignore
  • renounce
  • anathematize
  • vilipend
  • live with
  • spurn
  • undervalue
  • fail
  • pooh-pooh
  • put down
  • take no notice of
  • deprecate
  • revile

What is the origin of the word cherish?

According to Etymonline, the word cherish has been used as a verb since the early 14th century. This was originally cherischen, meaning to hold dear or treat with affection. This comes from the Old French cheriss or Old French cherir, which is the present participle stem of the word chierir meaning to hold dear. This word was used in the 12th century. This has given us the Modern French chérir. The stem of cherir comes from the word chier meaning dear, from the Latin cārus meaning dear or beloved. The Latin word is also the source of the word caro, which is present in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This word has Indo-European roots and has been used to mean to indulge in the mind since the late 14th century. Related words include the adjective cherished, cherishing, and caress.

Overall, the word cherish means to treasure or hold dear. This transitive verb is Latin in origin and can be used with any type of literal or figurative object, from people to things to ideas. Remember to cherish the days of our lives, from a little holiday to a coffee on a Thursday.