hero

noun (1)
he·​ro | \ˈhir-(ˌ)ō \
plural heroes

Definition of hero 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability

b : an illustrious warrior

c : a person admired for achievements and noble qualities

d : one who shows great courage

2a : the principal character in a literary or dramatic work used specifically of a principal male character especially when contrasted with heroine A special feature was the cliff-hanger ending when hero, heroine, or both found themselves confronting a violent demise …— Ira Konigsberg now also used of a principal character who is female … action movies with female heroes are emerging more frequently, and with increasing quality.— William Bibbiani

b : the central figure in an event, period, or movement

3 plural usually heros : submarine sense 2

4 : an object of extreme admiration and devotion : idol

Hero

noun (2)

Definition of Hero (Entry 2 of 3)

: a legendary priestess of Aphrodite loved by Leander

Hero

biographical name
He·​ro | \ˈhē-(ˌ)rō, ˈhir-(ˌ)ō\
variants: or Heron \ˈhē-​ˌrän \

Definition of Hero (Entry 3 of 3)

1st century a.d. Greek scientist

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Synonyms for hero

Synonyms: Noun (1)

god, icon (also ikon), idol

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Examples of hero in a Sentence

Noun (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 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 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 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 He returned from the war a national hero. the hero of a rescue She was a hero for standing up to the government. His father has always been his hero. He has always been a hero to his son.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The implicit heroes throughout Mr. Poldrack’s book are the scientists who wield statistical tools wisely. Matthew Hutson, WSJ, "‘The New Mind Readers’ Review: Scanning for Thoughts," 27 Nov. 2018 But the true value, from a human perspective, is how the project captured and preserved the perspective of all the unsung heroes of the Apollo missions—not just the astronauts who were front and center in the public eye. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Behind-the-scenes audio from Apollo 11 mission made public for first time," 12 Nov. 2018 In this field, the only heroes are the ones that do not give up. Brianna Wu, Marie Claire, "I Ran for Congress. I Lost. I'm Persisting. Quitting Is Not an Option In the Trump Era.," 9 Oct. 2018 Each book tells the story of one of America's icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. Fox News, "'I am Neil Armstrong' by Brad Meltzer," 12 Sep. 2018 The tower features 40 wind chimes for the 40 heroes who died that day. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Debunking Myths About United Flight 93," 10 Sep. 2018 Maybe some of the things on your moodboard are shades of lavender, fashion photos from the ‘90s, and quotes from feminist heroes of yesterday. Danielle Fox, Seventeen, "How to Become Instagram Famous," 24 July 2018 The colonel of the book’s title is Rep. William C.P. Breckinridge, a handsome, sweet-talking Confederate war hero and Kentucky Democrat who hailed from a storied political family. Melanie Kirkpatrick, WSJ, "‘Bringing Down the Colonel’ Review: The Mistress Wanted Marriage," 18 Nov. 2018 And the many people who learned about responsibility, duty, empathy, kindness, and selflessness from Lee’s plethora of heroes and fables wouldn’t be the same either. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Stan Lee, the godfather of Marvel comics, dies at 95," 12 Nov. 2018

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

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First Known Use of hero

Noun (1)

circa 1522, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hero

Noun (1)

Latin heros, from Greek hērōs

Noun (2)

Latin, from Greek Hērō

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Learn More about hero

Dictionary Entries near hero

Herning

hernio-

Hero

hero

Herod

Herod Antipas

Herodian

Statistics for hero

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hero

The first known use of hero was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for hero

hero

noun

English Language Learners 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.

hero

noun
he·​ro | \ˈhir-ō, ˈhē-rō\
plural heroes

Kids Definition of hero

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

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

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on hero

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hero

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hero

Spanish Central: Translation of hero

Nglish: Translation of hero for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hero for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hero

Comments on hero

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