General English


  • noun a small usually sweet fruit with a single hard stone at its centre, which is usually either yellow, red, or purple in colour
  • noun a tree that produces cherries


  • The fruits of various members of the genus Prunus, 1 – 2.5 cm in diameter, generally spherical with a slight depression where they are attached to the stalk, with a central stone (up to 5mm diameter) surrounded by a plum-like flesh and a smooth shiny outer skin. The colours range from white to deep purple/black and the flavours from sweet to acid. Used in sweet and savoury dishes. The kernels are used to flavour some liqueurs. Classified as sweet cherries and acid or sour cherries.


  • adjective new, fresh and attractive. A term used by teenagers and young adults since the 1970s in the USA and subsequently elsewhere. It evokes both the shininess of the fruit and the figurative sense of virginity.
  • noun the tip of a lit cigarette
  • verb to blush. In playground usage since 2000.


  • noun a small summer fruit, usually dark red, but also light red or almost white, growing on a long stalk


  • a flavour and aroma associated with wine made from Pinot Noir or Zinfandel grapes

Origin & History of “cherry”

Cherry comes ultimately from Greek kerasós ‘cherry tree’, which in Latin became cerasus. this was borrowed into the Germanic languages in prehistoric times, producing, as well as German kirsche, Old English ciris ‘cherry’, which died out in the 11th century. In vulgar Latin, meanwhile, cerasus had become ceresia, which passed into Old Northern French as cherise (source of modern French cerise). when it was borrowed into English, its -s ending was misinterpreted as indicating plurality, so a ‘new’ singular cherry was created.