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Appreciate vs Value vs Prize vs Treasure vs Cherish

Appreciate, value, prize, treasure and cherish all mean to hold in high estimation.

One appreciates what one understands sufficiently to admire critically or to enjoy with discrimination of its values, especially its aesthetic values.

  • relatively few persons are able to appreciate the fugues of Johann Sebastian Bach
  • he liked to be near people and have his talent as a whittler appreciated
    Anderson

Appreciate may not always carry this strong implication of intelligent admiration but may stress rather a response of warm approval, keen enjoyment, or gratitude.

  • those who are just beginning to appreciate the idea
    Mackenzie
  • nature actually made him ache, he appreciated it so
    Galsworthy
  • children easily appreciate justice
    Russell

One values what one rates highly or as worth more than other persons or things.

  • value honor more than life
  • there is nothing he values so much as the respect of his children
  • the tragedy of plain women; to be valued, but not loved
    —Mary Austin

One prizes what one values highly, especially as a possession, and takes deep pride in or sets great store by.

  • the good we never miss we rarely prize
    —Cowper
  • what is freedom and why is it prized?
    Dewey

One treasures what one keeps safe from danger of being lost or stolen, especially because one regards it as precious or attaches great sentimental value to it.

  • she treasures every memento of her youth
  • those who value money because it makes them independent are the reverse of those who treasure every penny they acquire and become slaves to their avarice

When used in reference to persons, treasure implies a clinging to more often than appreciation or love.

  • pay me no homage, Mario,—but if it be I have your friendship, I shall treasure it
    —Millay

Cherish may often be used interchangeably with prize and treasure but carries a stronger implication of love or affection for what is cherished and often suggests closer, more intimate association or attentions.

  • cherish a few books only, and those few chosen not for their fame in the world but wholly for the pleasure that they give you
    —Montague
  • he was a man who cherished his friends
  • He liked to call at the Bishop's house to advise him about the care of his young orchard, or to leave a bottle of homemade cherry brandy for Father Joseph
    Cather