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cherries of varying degrees of ripeness


From Middle English cheri (loanword from Anglo-Norman, from Old Northern French cherise (cherry); compare Old French cerise, which gave modern French cerise and later English cerise from this). Compare Old English ciris (cherry), (from Late Latin ceresia), which may have also contributed to the modern word.[1]

The Middle English singular is a back-formation from Old Northern French cherise (cherry) (interpreted as a plural), from Vulgar Latin ceresia, a reinterpretation of the neuter plural of Late Latin ceresium, from Latin cerasium (cerasum, cerasus (cherry tree)), from Ancient Greek κεράσιον (kerásion, cherry fruit), from Ancient Greek κερασός (kerasós, bird cherry), and ultimately possibly of Anatolian origin (the intervocalic σ suggests a pre-Greek origin for the word).[2]



cherry (plural cherries)

  1. A small fruit, usually red, black or yellow, with a smooth hard seed and a short hard stem.
  2. Prunus subg. Cerasus, trees or shrubs that bear cherries.
  3. The wood of a cherry tree.
  4. Cherry red.
  5. (slang) Virginity, especially female virginity as embodied by a hymen.
    • 2004, Nick Wright, Treading Ground #47 – Throwback
      In any case it’s ironic, considering there hasn’t been a cherry in the white house since Chelsea Clinton was fourteen.
  6. (graph theory) A subtree consisting of a node with exactly two leaves.
    • 2004, Suleyman Cenk Sahinalp, S Muthukrishnan, Ugur Dogrusoz, Combinatorial Pattern Matching
      Non-isomorphism is detected whenever the algorithm finds a cherry  
    • 2005, Lior Pachter, Bernd Sturmfels, Algebraic Statistics for Computational Biology
      Step 3: Output the tree T. The edge lengths of T are determined recursively: If (x,y) is a cherry connected to node z as in Step 2…
  7. (cricket) A cricket ball.

Usage notesEdit

Cherry includes, but is not limited to, the following species, of the genus Prunus: Prunus avium (wild cherry, mazzard, sweet cherry), P. cerasus (sour cherry), P. mahaleb (mahaleb cherry, rock cherry), P. pensylvanica (pin cherry, bird cherry), P. pumila (sand cherry), P. serotina (black cherry), P. serrulata (Japanese flowering cherry, hill cherry), and P. virginiana (chokecherry). Prunus also includes plums, peaches, apricots, and almonds.



See alsoEdit


cherry (comparative more cherry, superlative most cherry)

  1. Containing or having the taste of cherries.
  2. Of a bright red colour.
  3. (informal, often of cars) In excellent condition; mint condition.
    • 2003, Wilson, John Morgan, Blind Eye[1], St. Martin’s Press, ISBN 0312309198, page 108:
      A few years earlier, I’d restored my ’65 Mustang convertible to cherry condition—fire engine red, with matching tuck-and-roll—and I wasn’t surprised that it drew attention.
    • 2006, "Weird Al" Yankovic (lyrics), “White & Nerdy”, in Straight Outta Lynwood, performed by "Weird Al" Yankovic:
      All of my action figures are cherry

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ cherry” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. ^ Robert Stephen Paul Beekes (2010), “κέρασος”, in Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, ISBN 978-90-04-17418-4



cherry m (plural cherrys or cherries)

  1. cherry tomato