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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Cherish \Cher"ish\ (ch[e^]r"[i^]sh), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Cherished (ch[e^]r"[i^]sht); p. pr. & vb. n. Cherising.] [F. ch['e]rir, fr. cher dear, fr. L. carus. See Caress, Finish.] 1. To treat with tenderness and affection; to nurture with care; to protect and aid. [1913 Webster] We were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children. --1 Thess. ii. 7. [1913 Webster] 2. To hold dear; to embrace with interest; to indulge; to encourage; to foster; to promote; as, to cherish religious principle. [1913 Webster] To cherish virtue and humanity. --Burke. Syn: To nourish; foster; nurse; nurture; entertain; encourage; comfort; protect; support; See Nurture. [1913 Webster]