Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A winged celestial being.
  • n. Christianity The second of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.
  • n. A representation of a small angel, portrayed as a child with a chubby rosy face.
  • n. A person, especially a child, with an innocent or chubby face.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A winged creature represented over 90 times in the Bible as attending on God, later seen as the second highest order of angels, ranked above thrones and below seraphim. First mention is in Genesis 3:24
  • n. A statue or other depiction of such a being, typically in the form of a winged child.
  • n. A person, especially a child, seen as being particularly innocent or angelic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mysterious composite being, the winged footstool and chariot of the Almighty, described in Ezekiel i. and x.
  • n. A symbolical winged figure of unknown form used in connection with the mercy seat of the Jewish Ark and Temple.
  • n. One of a order of angels, variously represented in art. In European painting the cherubim have been shown as blue, to denote knowledge, as distinguished from the seraphim (see Seraph), and in later art the children's heads with wings are generally called cherubs.
  • n. A beautiful child; -- so called because artists have represented cherubs as beautiful children.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of an order of angels variously represented at different times, but generally as winged spirits with a human countenance (often simply as winged heads), and distinguished by their knowledge from the seraphs, whose distinctive quality is love.
  • n. A beautiful child: so called because in painting and sculpture cherubs are generally represented as beautiful winged children.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an angel of the second order whose gift is knowledge; usually portrayed as a winged child
  • n. a sweet innocent baby

Etymologies

Middle English, from Late Latin, from Hebrew kərûb; see krb in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ultimately from Hebrew כְּרוּב (kerúv) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We got off to a bad start; both sna and maglok were thoroughly disgusted with the Valentine Festival, but Smokey seemed to find it funny to shoot all of us with silver shafted arrows, which basically meant that we all had a goblin cherub following us around all the time.

    Fair trial

  • * For newcomers: True cherub is the singular, but it has a whole different connotations, more flying, chubby boy and less fiery wings with eyes.

    The Cherubim Goes To Church With Daddy

  • Ralph, the little cherub, is running for Lieutenant Governor in Georgia.

    04/21/2005

  • The most generally received opinion is, that the first letter, K+ (caf) is a servile letter, and a note of similitude, and, therefore, that the word cherub is of the same force as if it were said, ` like a boy. '

    Commentary on Genesis - Volume 1

  • The word cherub (cherubim is the Hebrew masculine plural) is a word borrowed from the Assyrian kirubu, from karâbu, "to be near", hence it means near ones, familiars, personal servants, bodyguards, courtiers.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 3: Brownson-Clairvaux

  • However, seraph may come from a root meaning "princely," applied in Da 10: 13 to Michael [Maurer]; just as cherub comes from a root (changing m into b), meaning "noble." twain -- Two wings alone of the six were kept ready for instant flight in

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Each cherub is here said to have two faces, the face of a man towards the palm tree on one side and the face of a young lion towards the palm-tree on the other side, v. 19.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • The fall in popularity of the death's head and the subsequent prevalence of the cherub was a reflection of the Great Awakening and the belief in the immortality of the soul: "Cherubs reflect a stress on resurrection, while death's heads emphasize the mortality of man."

    Headstones for Dummies, the New York Edition

  • Donald stooped and lifted the tike to his shoulder, marveling the while that such a cherub could be the product of any of the denizens of the Sawdust Pile.

    Kindred of the Dust

  • The circle of dancing angels recalls the cherub throng of

    Van Dyck A Collection Of Fifteen Pictures And A Portrait Of The Painter With Introduction And Interpretation

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Comments

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  • An Ancient Babylonian loanword meaning "gracious" (Akkadian language).

    January 31, 2008

  • one who blesses: one who sings praise?

    January 14, 2008