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

One of the men assaulted by the protesters, confirmed by Global Times editor Hu Xijin to be a reporter for the nationalistic tabloid, has since been held up as a national hero on Chinese social network Weibo. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Mired in anger and hatred, Hong Kong’s “radical” protesters are seeking a way forward," 14 Aug. 2019 The father of three, who had emigrated to New Zealand from Pakistan a decade earlier, was hailed as a hero in his home country after his death. Washington Post, "Pint glasses, skateboards and milk crates: How people worldwide have thwarted mass attacks," 13 Aug. 2019 And now Carrillo was being hailed as a hero by the San Francisco board of supervisors for saving the lives of two people who were on the brink of overdosing on heroin. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Hero’s tragic turn: San Francisco utility worker who saved two lives imprisoned for gun possession," 8 Aug. 2019 Adria González is touted as a hero, having saved the lives of dozens by ushering them out to safety Saturday. Dallas News, "While some in El Paso aren't happy about Trump visit, others hope city can teach him something," 6 Aug. 2019 The people during this time period saw Remus as a hero. Angela Serratore, Smithsonian, "The Bootleg King and the Ambitious Prosecutor Who Took Him Down," 1 Aug. 2019 Despite Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw being fully positioned as a hero in Hobbs & Shaw, screenwriter Chris Morgan promises that the Fast & Furious franchise won’t forget his original sin: killing our beloved Han. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Hobbs & Shaw writer promises that justice for Han is coming," 30 July 2019 Cerciello Rega's was eulogized Monday as a hero at a funeral held in his hometown, Somma Vesuviana, in the same church where the 35-year-old officer had been married six weeks earlier. NBC News, "American teen claims he knifed Italian officer in self-defense, judge says," 29 July 2019 In this climate, last week’s killing took on a broader national significance, and Cerciello Rega, 35, who had just returned to work from his honeymoon, was praised as a hero. Elisabetta Povoledo, BostonGlobe.com, "As Italy mourns slain officer, photo raises questions over a confession," 29 July 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.

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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

18 Aug 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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