From Middle English charish, cherishen (“to have affection for, hold dear, treat kindly; to esteem, respect; to cherish; to take care of; to greet; to entertain, treat hospitably; to cheer; to encourage, incite”), from Old French cherir, chierir (“to cherish”) (modern French chérir (“to cherish”)), from cher, chier (“dear, dearest”) (from Latin cārus (“beloved, dear”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂- (“to desire, wish”)) + -ir (“suffix forming infinitives of second conjugation verbs”).
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /ˈtʃɛɹɪʃ/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Hyphenation: cher‧ish
- To treat with affection, care, and tenderness; to nurture or protect with care.
- 1831 October 31, [Mary Shelley], chapter I, in Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus (Standard Novels; IX), 3rd edition, London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, […], OCLC 858441409, pages 22–23:
- On the evening previous to her being brought to my home, my mother had said playfully,—"I have a pretty present for my Victor—to-morrow he shall have it." And when, on the morrow, she presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift, I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally, and looked upon Elizabeth as mine—mine to protect, love, and cherish.
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XXIII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071, page 184:
- There were many wooden chairs for the bulk of his visitors, and two wicker arm-chairs with red cloth cushions for superior people. From the packing-cases had emerged some Indian clubs, boxing-gloves, a model oar, and other modest trophies or mementos of his college boating club; and all these articles, together with small knicknacks dating from Oxford days, made a scattered and untidy decoration that Mrs. Clough assiduously dusted and greatly cherished.
- To have a deep appreciation of; to hold dear.
- 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: […] , London: Printed [by R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] […] , published 1602, OCLC 316392309, Act III, scene iv:
- Tuc[ca]. […] Can thy Author doe it impudently enough? / Hiſt[rio]. O, I warrant you, Captaine: and ſpitefully inough too; he ha's one of the moſt ouerflowing villanous wits, in Rome. He will ſlander any man that breathes; If he diſguſt him. / Tucca. I'le know the poor, egregious, nitty Raſcall; and he haue ſuch commendable Qualities, I'le cheriſh him: […]
- (obsolete) To cheer, to gladden.
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: […] William Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book II, canto VI, stanza 21, page 262:
- And by the way, as was her wonted guize, / Her merry fitt ſhee freſhly gan to reare, / And did of ioy and iollitie deuize, / Her ſelfe to cheriſh, and her gueſt to cheare: […]