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noun, he·ro \ˈhir-(ˌ)ō\

Simple Definition of hero

  • : 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.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of hero

plural heroes

  1. 1 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

  2. 2 a :  the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work b :  the central figure in an event, period, or movement

  3. 3 plural usually heros :  submarine 2

  4. 4 :  an object of extreme admiration and devotion :  idol

Examples of hero in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. Greater authors—Arthur Conan Doyle most notably—have been in the same dilemma when seeking closure. And, like Conan Doyle, Rowling has won imperishable renown for giving us an identifiable hero and a fine caricature of a villain, and for making a fictional bit of King's Cross station as luminous as a certain address on nearby Baker Street. —Christopher Hitchens, New York Times Book Review, 12 Aug. 2007

  3. Here's a novel by a decorated war hero with a fictional Middle Eastern desert war at its core. It pits an American-led coalition against a potentially lethal enemy … —Lorenzo Carcaterra, People, 3 June 1991

  4. Other physicists, long wedded to the notion that nothing can escape from a black hole, have generally come to accept that discovery. And the stuff emitted from little black holes (and big ones too, but far more slowly) is now called Hawking radiation. “In general relativity and early cosmology, Hawking is the hero,” says Rocky Kolb, a physicist at Fermilab in Illinois. —Leon Jaroff, Time, 8 Feb. 1988

  5. He returned from the war a national hero.

  6. the hero of a rescue

  7. She was a hero for standing up to the government.

  8. His father has always been his hero.

  9. He has always been a hero to his son.

Origin of hero

Latin heros, from Greek hērōs

First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms

Rhymes with hero


noun he·ro

Definition of Hero

  1. :  a legendary priestess of Aphrodite loved by Leander

Origin of hero

Latin, from Greek Hērō

First Known Use: 14th century


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

Definition of Hero

  1. 1st cent. a.d. Greek scientist

Variants of hero

or Heron play \ˈhē-ˌrän\

HERO Defined for Kids


noun he·ro \ˈhir-ō, ˈhē-rō\

Definition of hero for Students

plural heroes

  1. 1 :  a person admired for great deeds or fine qualities <We study heroes of our nation's history.>

  2. 2 :  a person who shows great courage <The firefighters were heroes.>

  3. 3 :  the chief male character in a story, play, or poem

Seen and Heard

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to dishevel or rumple

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