an·​ti·​he·​ro | \ˈan-tē-ˌhē-(ˌ)rō, ˈan-ˌtī-, -ˌhir-(ˌ)ō\

Definition of antihero 

: a protagonist or notable figure who is conspicuously lacking in heroic qualities

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from antihero

antiheroic \ ˌan-​tē-​hi-​ˈrō-​ik , ˌan-​ˌtī-​ \ adjective

Examples of antihero in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The drug dealer in hip-hop is a resourceful antihero, part Robin Hood, part CEO. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 This time around they’re joined by another writer — star Ryan Reynolds, who returns as the wisecracking, neck-slicing super antihero. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Can 'Deadpool 2' writers go too far? Yes, they can (but didn't)," 16 May 2018 Deadpool 2, the antihero superhero film starring Ryan Reynolds. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Inside the Deadpool 2 New York Screening With an Electric Shioli Kutsuna," 16 May 2018 The pilot episode aired in May at the Tribeca Film Festival with Ko in the lead role as the show's 20-something antihero. NBC News, "Actress Naomi Ko wanted to see more stories from the U.S. heartland, so she made her own," 2 July 2018 The project is based on antihero Morbius the Living Vampire. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Jared Leto to Star in Sony Spider-Man Title 'Morbius,' Daniel Espinosa to Direct," 27 June 2018 Since the millennium, one of the big topics in the TV conversation has been the complex antihero. Matthew Gilbert,, "The best villains on TV," 6 July 2018 Even if female antiheroes are now more common, for HBO a self-destructive woman remains a gamble. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "It’s Hard to Watch Sharp Objects, and Even Harder to Look Away," 28 June 2018 Other images placing highly in the contest depicted the antihero falling from a building surrounded by debris, firing his gun amid a sea of chimichangas, riding a playground unicorn away from a massive explosion and more. Chris Thilk, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Deadpool 2' Marketing Blitz Bets on Too Much Being Just Enough," 14 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antihero.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of antihero

1714, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about antihero

Statistics for antihero

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antihero

The first known use of antihero was in 1714

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for antihero



English Language Learners Definition of antihero

: a main character in a book, play, movie, etc., who does not have the usual good qualities that are expected in a hero

More from Merriam-Webster on antihero

See words that rhyme with antihero Encyclopedia article about antihero

Comments on antihero

What made you want to look up antihero? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!