hero

noun (1)
he·​ro | \ ˈhir-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce hero (audio) \
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 How to pronounce Hero (audio) , ˈhir-(ˌ)ō\
variants: or Heron \ ˈhē-​ˌrän How to pronounce Heron (audio) \

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

At 14 years old, Steven was reunited with this parents, and became a national hero overnight. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "The True Story Behind Cary Stayner's Murders and His Brother Steven's Legacy," 25 Jan. 2019 For anyone who spent the last 10 years dutifully following the lives of the mightiest Marvel heroes across the galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War was an emotionally devastating movie. Verge Staff, The Verge, "The best memes of 2018, according to The Verge staff," 27 Dec. 2018 My research into the cultural representations of gun-slinging ministers suggests that such figures appeal to Americans’ interest in vigilante justice - in the capacity of a lone hero to save the rest of us when our institutions fail to. Steve Pinkerton, Houston Chronicle, "Why Americans are fascinated by gunfighting preachers," 7 July 2018 Nilsa Adorno, 30, is one of those heroes, handing out free lunches to the kids in her neighborhood every day this summer. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Philly fights summer hunger, school district plans massive cleanup | Morning Newsletter," 21 June 2018 Two hero skin-care products Paltrow swears by are Vintner's Daughter's Active Botanical Serum and Goop's Exfoliating Instant Facial, both of which could definitely contribute to her flawless complexion. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Gwyneth Paltrow Just Posted a Makeup-Free Selfie Après Ski, and She’s Glowing," 27 Mar. 2019 The final words—congratulations—go to Hussein Chalayan, hero of the '90s, who is very much in operation, selling his super-interesting clothes 25 years later. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "The Top 10 Shows of London Fashion Week Fall 2019," 20 Feb. 2019 Witness: a Wolverine game in 2D, where the titular hero's main attack was a kick. Michael Thompson, Ars Technica, "Drawn together: The love affair between comics and games," 24 Dec. 2018 Dressing up as epic super heroes for Halloween is one thing, but based on the teasers for the show, the two stars are really going to let loose. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Sounds Like 'GMA Day' With Sara Haines and Michael Strahan Is Going to Be Pretty Wild," 10 Sep. 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

14 Apr 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 How to pronounce hero (audio) , 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

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