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 Hero (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 His supporters made Kyle Rittenhouse, accused of murdering two Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wis., a hero. BostonGlobe.com, "A sorry spectacle we all knew was coming," 6 Jan. 2021 Snowden has become a hero for an ideologically diverse fusion of influential political observers. Rebeccah Heinrichs, Washington Examiner, "Snowden's no hero," 31 Dec. 2020 When Crozier left his post, he was cheered by his crew and given a hero’s sendoff. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Biggest Bay Area news stories of 2020? In a year ruled by pandemic, other important narratives broke out," 31 Dec. 2020 The greatest obstacle to a hero is not a villain but the world itself: The villain is a symptom, but the problems are societal. Rowan Ricardo Phillips Kiese Makeba Laymon Carina Del Valle Schorske Dessa Irina Aleksander Sam Dolnick Mark Binelli Maggie Jones Rob Hoerburger Jamie Lauren Keiles Devin Gordon Jazmine Hughes Jenna Wortham Jade Chang Taffy Brodesser-akner Kaitlyn Greenidge Reginald Dwayne Betts Michael Paterniti Wesley Morris Ismail Muhammad Anthony Giardina, New York Times, "Remembering some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year.," 23 Dec. 2020 Chris Olave went from buried in the depth chart to Michigan game hero in 2018 with two TD catches — the first of his career — and blocking a punt that Sevyn Banks took back for a score. Stephen Means, cleveland, "21 things to know about Ohio State football’s 2021 recruiting class: Buckeyes Recruiting," 17 Dec. 2020 Given pride of place is a new addition, an homage to another hometown hero: artist George Rodrigue of Blue Dog fame. Jessica Fender, NOLA.com, "Explore New Iberia, the town in salt-dome country whose main street began as a lazy bayou," 1 Dec. 2020 Honestly, most Disney movies tend to give more credence to either their hero or heroine. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Why Tangled is better than Frozen — and deserves more love," 24 Nov. 2020 Her character, a loving grandmother to the hero of the story, isn’t a witch. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "‘The Witches,’ film set in Alabama, slammed by disability community," 10 Nov. 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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hero.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hero. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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