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From Old French cherir.



cherish ‎(third-person singular simple present cherishes, present participle cherishing, simple past and past participle cherished)

  1. To treat with tenderness and affection; to nurture with care; to protect and aid.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 12, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      There were many wooden chairs for the bulk of his visitors, and two wicker armchairs with red cloth cushions for superior people. From the packing-cases had emerged some Indian clubs, […], and all these articles […] made a scattered and untidy decoration that Mrs. Clough assiduously dusted and greatly cherished.
  2. To hold dear; to embrace with interest; to indulge; to encourage; to foster; to promote; as, to cherish religious principle.
  3. (obsolete) To cheer, gladden.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene,
      Her merry fit she freshly gan to reare, / And did of ioy and iollitie deuize, / Her selfe to cherish, and her guest to cheare [...].