1. pl. cher·u·bim (chĕrə-bĭm′, -yə-bĭm′)
a. A winged celestial being.
b. cherubim Christianity The second of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.
2. pl. cher·ubs
a. A putto.
b. A person, especially a child, with an innocent or chubby face.
[Middle English, from Late Latin, from Hebrew kərûb; see krb in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
che·rubic (chə-rbĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.