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) Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: cher‧ish
- To treat with affection, care, and tenderness; to nurture or protect with care.
- 1752, James Foster, “Some Observations on the True Ground of the Duty of Parents towards Their Children, and on Its General Nature, and Offices”, in Discourses on All the Principal Branches of Natural Religion and Social Virtue, volume II, London: Printed for the author; and sold by Mr. Noon [et al.], OCLC 642217544, pages 95–96:
- But the parent, we will ſuppose, cheriſhes his child with an affectionate indulgent care, and with all the circumſpection and aſſiduity that nature requires, in his infirm helpleſs ſtate of infancy; aſſiſts and cheriſhes his underſtanding, in its tender growth does; his utmoſt, according to his ability, to inculcate and impreſs religious principles, […]
- 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.
- Antonym: despise
- I cherish your friendship.
- 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: […]
- 1665, Samuel Cradock, “Of Righteousness, Sanctification, and Holiness of Life”, in Knowledge and Practice: Or, A Plain Discourse, of the Chief Things Necessary to be Known, Believ’d, and Practised in Order to Salvation. […], 2nd revised and inlarged edition, London: Printed for William Grantham […], Henry Mortlock […], and William Miller […], OCLC 639979398, pages 77–78:
- So by cheriſhing Humility, Pride is weakned, by cheriſhing Patience, Violent Paſſions, and Anger, and Peeviſhneſs are deſtroyed, by cheriſhing Purity, and Chaſtity of Heart and Thoughts, Uncleanneſs is mortified, and ſo by cheriſhing heavenly mindedneſs, the love of the world is abated and weakned: and the like might be ſhewed in other inſtances.
- 1898, Herbert Spencer, “Intellectual Education”, in Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton and Company, […], OCLC 935900223, pages 98–99:
- The age in which all thought that trades must be established by bounties and prohibitions; that manufacturers needed their materials and qualities and prices to be prescribed; and that the value of money could be determined by law; was an age which unavoidably cherished the notions that a child's mind could be made to order; that its powers were to be imparted by the schoolmaster; that it was a receptacle into which knowledge was to be put and there built up after its teacher's ideal.
- 1904 July 24, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, chapter III, in Speeches of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, 3rd edition, Madras: G. A. Natesan & Co., published 1920, OCLC 36588544, page 787:
- We came under the influence of his [Mahadev Govind Ranade's] work and his thoughts, and we owe it to ourselves to show that his memory is to us a most cherished possession.
- 1997, Confucius; Chichung Huang, transl., “Book Four: Li Ren (To Live among Men of Humanity)”, in The Analects of Confucius (Lun Yu): A Literal Translation with an Introduction and Notes, New York, N.Y.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, paragraph 4.11, page 68:
- The Master said: "The gentleman cherishes virtue; the small man cherishes land. The gentleman cherishes institutions; the small man cherishes favors."
- (obsolete) To cheer, to gladden.
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam 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: […]