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 heroineA 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

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)

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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 He has been hailed as hometown hero, mentor and motivational speaker, among other things. NBC News, "Texas police officer charged in fatal shooting of Jonathan Price had been in job six months," 7 Oct. 2020 The red wheelbarrow upon which so much depends pleasantly evokes a hero of childhood, the Little Engine That Could. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "The Poetry of the Prosaic," 2 Oct. 2020 Even more compelling is that the book’s hero, CIA analyst Elora Monro, ends up becoming romantically entangled with Zaidan Al-Sadiq, the right-hand man of the very Iraqi insurgent who killed her fiancé. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Love in the time of espionage in ‘New Dawn Underground’," 19 Sep. 2020 But this hero, the kind-hearted Yugi, is possessed by a more bold, zealous spirit that goes by Pharaoh. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The best anime on Netflix right now," 18 Sep. 2020 His operas revolve around concepts like destiny, glorious death, renewal through destruction, and the solitary hero who is above the law, all of which played a key role in the fascist imagination. Adam Kirsch, The New Republic, "The Problem With Redemption for Wagner," 11 Sep. 2020 Andrew was a hero, a friend and someone who regularly reminded us all how it should be done, not to mention the funniest f--ker around. Katie Bain, Billboard, "Daniel Avery Releases a Track In Honor of the Late Andrew Weatherall: Listen," 1 Sep. 2020 That brought up Saturday night's hero, Eric Sogard, who hit a shot that ate up second baseman Kevin Newman. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 6, Pirates 5: Orlando Arcia comes through in a pinch, delivers series victory," 31 Aug. 2020 The movie made its namesake into a kind of American folk hero, à la Davy Crockett or Mother Jones. Amanda Fortini, The Atlantic, "Erin Brockovich Wants to Know What You’re Drinking," 11 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for hero

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hero

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hero.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hero. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for hero

hero

noun
How to pronounce Hero (audio)

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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Comments on hero

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