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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

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
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 In particular, says Kling, the crypto industry remains vulnerable to hero worship—a tendency to venerate the individuals that accrue the most money and command the greatest influence in the sector: like Mashinsky, Bankman-Fried, Do Kwon of Terra Luna, and Kyle Davies and Su Zhu of Three Arrows. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 14 July 2023 Instead, what allowed things to spiral at Northwestern until a whistleblower finally came forward last year, was a default setting of hero worship around Fitzgerald and the fear of being ostracized if anyone dared to challenge what had become accepted as part of the program's culture. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 11 July 2023 Fans of Bourdain-style travel and food writing — pop culture asides, sarcasm, jaded irony, a little bit of hero worship — might be disappointed. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, 29 June 2023 Awards Bill Hader and Henry Winkler root ‘Barry’ in friendship, collaboration and some hero worship May 16, 2019 Winkler has been open about his mental health throughout his career. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2023 There was a cultish aspect to the hero worship. Dan Koeppel, Outside Online, 5 Sep. 2019 See More

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 28 Sep. 2023.

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