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he·​ro-wor·​ship ˈhir-(ˌ)ō-ˌwər-ship How to pronounce hero-worship (audio)
hero-worshipped also hero-worshiped; hero-worshipping also hero-worshiping; hero-worships

transitive verb

: to feel or express hero worship for
hero-worshipper noun

hero worship

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: veneration of a hero
: foolish or excessive adulation for an individual

Examples of hero-worship in a Sentence

Verb people who hero-worship celebrities are setting themselves up for disappointment a golfing pro who is hero-worshipped by hordes of weekend duffers Noun He objects to the unthinking hero worship of great athletes by their fans. once the object of uncritical hero worship, the aging quarterback now faces the derision of his team's fickle fans
Recent Examples on the Web
There’s a pleasing economy to that set-up, establishing the family dynamic of a man ruled by a monomaniacal focus, a stoical woman who keeps her distance from his professional pursuits, and hero-worshipping sons who seem a safe bet to try to emulate their dad in the ring. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019
In the translator Jennifer Croft’s first novel, a band of translators from around the world navigates romantic entanglements and their hero worship of an elusive Polish author. Sophie Pinkham, The New York Review of Books, 14 Mar. 2024 No one on the team knows about Sir and everyone on that team has a little hero worship where Gabi is concerned. Alamin Yohannes, EW.com, 4 Oct. 2023 Fame, male privilege and hero worship all played a part in the outcome. Variety Staff, Variety, 24 Jan. 2024 Nostalgia, hierarchy, hero worship, the establishment of a canon, the separation between audience and artist — all of these are both the natural tendencies of museums and the things that punk was invented to smash. Brett Martin, New York Times, 28 Nov. 2023 Monsky believes his suicide diminished the hero worship that had been directed toward him. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Nov. 2023 Unwarranted hero worship of the armed forces nurtures civilian deference to the military and threatens civilian oversight. Ronald R. Krebs, Foreign Affairs, 28 Sep. 2021 Jennifer’s Body is, at its heart, a film about a deeply toxic female friendship — the kind in which one girl with a weird hero worship consigns herself to being the quirky sidekick to the other’s main character. Vulture, 31 Mar. 2023 The whole book feels like a teeter-totter between the author’s own hero worship of the subject and his gawking at the tragedy. Jason Diamond, Bon Appétit, 9 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hero-worship.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1574, in the meaning defined above


1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hero-worship was in 1574

Dictionary Entries Near hero-worship

hero worship



Cite this Entry

“Hero-worship.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hero-worship. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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