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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for hero

Synonyms: Noun (1)

god, icon (also ikon), idol

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

He was medically discharged in 2013 as an American hero with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Bree Burkitt, AZCentral.com, "A frantic call, a final standoff: 'Please don't hurt him. He just needs help'," 19 June 2019 The film stars Gary Cooper, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as a true hero of World War I. Call 408-605-4727 for more information. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Los Gatos community briefs for the week of June 21," 16 June 2019 Because of his powerful left-handed swing and his reputation as a true sports folk hero, Ortiz is often compared to Babe Ruth. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Why David Ortiz is beloved beyond baseball (and how he got the nickname Big Papi)," 10 June 2019 In the film Black Adam, the character is described more as an anti-hero. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam film moves ahead with new director," 7 June 2019 Gruler was hailed as a hero by local officials and attended the State of the Union address as an honored guest. Monivette Cordeiro, orlandosentinel.com, "Pulse, Parkland shootings: Why was 1 cop called hero, the other arrested?," 6 June 2019 While the older sister is being (rightfully) touted as a hero, the video is also an important reminder of the potential dangers of pool season. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Viral Video Serves as a Powerful Reminder of the Dangers of Pool Floats," 3 June 2019 During season one, viewers only saw the beginning of these two teens taking on the roles as heroes. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Marvel's "Cloak and Dagger" Season 2 Throws Fresh Villains in the Mix and New Social Issues to Tackle," 9 Apr. 2019 The pilot was lauded as a hero for sticking a near flawless landing in the daunting conditions, which included floods on the runways and in the airport itself. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hero

Dictionary Entries near hero

Herning

hernio-

Hero

hero

Herod

Herod Antipas

Herodian

Statistics for hero

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hero

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up hero? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having a desire to acquire more things

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!