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

Dress him or her up as a super hero, a silly snowman, an ice skater, or even a character from your favorite holiday film, The Nutcracker. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "You Can Now Get Clothes for 'The Elf on the Shelf'— and They're Elfin' Adorable," 4 Dec. 2018 An unsung hero of the American avant-garde—the collector Peggy Guggenheim was a friend and fan—Sterne (née Lindenberg), who died in 2011 at the age of 100, was inspired in part by the thrilling pace of postwar American life. Marley Marius, Vogue, "A Radical Female Artist (and an Unsung Hero of the Avant-Garde) Gets Another Look in “Hedda Sterne: Structures and Landscapes”," 29 Oct. 2018 For decades, Armstrong was thought of as an all-American hero who achieved greatness thanks to all-American ingenuity. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "What "First Man" Gets Right About the Apollo Moon Landing," 11 Oct. 2018 Serbia, after all, doesn’t have a surplus of modern-day heroes. Alyson Krueger, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Novak Djokovic Is Helping Turn Belgrade, Serbia Into Your Next Destination," 25 July 2018 While the return of Robocop will likely be looked at, and hyped up as, a return of an '80s action hero, that’s not what makes the project exciting. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Robocop' and Neill Blomkamp Need Each Other," 11 July 2018 Speaking to Cosmo, the show's star Debby Ryan (a Disney alum) described Patty as an anti-hero. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "How Insatiable Is Tackling Beauty Standards, One Joke At A Time," 10 July 2018 Where to stream it: Hulu Being There (1979) Fifteen years after Dr. Strangelove, Peter Sellers earned yet another Best Actor nomination for playing an accidental political hero in Being There. Jennifer M. Wood, WIRED, "10 Scathing Political Satires to Stream This Independence Day," 3 July 2018 All that’s left of the villain who opened the series by pushing an innocent kid out of a window is an improbable hero who has nothing left to do but try to build something new. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Game of Thrones Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Hints at Jaime’s Heartbreaking Conclusion," 25 June 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

3 Feb 2019

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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