noun \ˈhir-(ˌ)ō\

: a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities

: a person who is greatly admired

: the chief male character in a story, play, movie, etc.

plural he·roes

Full Definition of HERO

a :  a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
b :  an illustrious warrior
c :  a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities
d :  one who shows great courage
a :  the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work
b :  the central figure in an event, period, or movement
plural usually he·ros :  submarine 2
:  an object of extreme admiration and devotion :  idol

Examples of HERO

  1. He returned from the war a national hero.
  2. the hero of a rescue
  3. She was a hero for standing up to the government.
  4. His father has always been his hero.
  5. He has always been a hero to his son.
  6. A motto of his hero, Thomas Edison, is inscribed on a favorite sweatshirt : To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. —Britt Robson, Mother Jones, May/June 2008

Origin of HERO

Latin heros, from Greek hērōs
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to HERO

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms

elysian, fay, muse, nimbus, phoenix

Rhymes with HERO



Definition of HERO

:  a legendary priestess of Aphrodite loved by Leander

Origin of HERO

Latin, from Greek Hērō
First Known Use: 14th century


biographical name \ˈhē-(ˌ)rō, ˈhir-(ˌ)ō\

Definition of HERO

1st cent. a.d. Greek scientist

Variants of HERO

He·ro or He·ron \ˈhē-ˌrän\


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Mythological or legendary figure, often of divine descent, who is endowed with great strength or ability, like the heroes celebrated in early epics such as Gilgamesh, The Iliad, Beowulf, or the Chanson de Roland. Usually illustrious warriors or adventurers, heroes are often represented as fulfilling a quest (e.g., Aeneas, in Virgil's Aeneid, founding the Roman state, or Beowulf ridding his people of the monstrous Grendel and his mother). Heroes often possess special qualities such as unusual beauty, precocity, and skills in many crafts. Often inclined to boasting and foolhardiness, they defy pain and death to live fully, creating a moment's glory that survives in the memory of their descendants.


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