early 14c., cherischen, "hold as dear, treat with tenderness and affection," from Old French cheriss-, present participle stem of chierir "to hold dear" (12c., Modern French chérir), from chier "dear," from Latin carus "dear, costly, beloved" (from PIE root *ka- "to like, desire"). The Latin word also is the source of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese caro; Old Provençal, Catalan car. Meaning "indulge and encourage in the mind" is from late 14c. Related: Cherished; cherishing.
cherchez la femme
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