he·ro·ic | \hi-ˈrō-ik also her-ˈō- or hē-ˈrō- \
variants: or less commonly heroical \hi-ˈrō-i-kəl \

Definition of heroic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to courageous people or the mythological or legendary figures of antiquity : of, relating to, resembling, or suggesting heroes especially of antiquity heroic legends the heroic age

2a : exhibiting or marked by courage and daring It was a heroic decision.

b : supremely noble or self-sacrificing a heroic gesture received medals for their heroic actions

3a : of impressive size, power, extent, or effect a heroic voice

b(1) : of great intensity : extreme heroic effort

(2) : of a kind that is likely only to be undertaken to save a life heroic surgery

4 : of, relating to, or constituting drama written during the Restoration in heroic couplets and concerned with a conflict between love and honor



Definition of heroic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a verse or poem written during the Restoration using rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter and concerned with a conflict between love and honor : a heroic verse or poem

2 heroics plural

a : flamboyantly boastful language or action avoids heroics in his writing

b : courageous, noble, or self-sacrificing action or behavior : heroic action or behavior the heroics of the civil rights movement

c : determined effort especially in the face of difficulty

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Other Words from heroic


heroically \hi-ˈrō-i-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Examples of heroic in a Sentence


It was heroic of those women to fight for the right to vote. The soldiers received medals for their heroic actions. Despite heroic efforts to save the business, it ultimately went bankrupt. a political battle of heroic proportions
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Croats made history this week by advancing to their first World Cup final ever with a heroic come-from-behind victory over England in -what else- extra time for the third consecutive match. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "Ronaldo's shock transfer, the World Cup semis and the best of the week in soccer," 12 July 2018 Will Croatia have one last heroic effort up their sleeve to finish off their storybook World Cup run? 4. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "Ronaldo's shock transfer, the World Cup semis and the best of the week in soccer," 12 July 2018 Flynn was told that Camille wasn’t likable, heroic or inspiring enough. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "It’s Hard to Watch Sharp Objects, and Even Harder to Look Away," 28 June 2018 And the message to the survivors who are firefighters is this is an impressive, heroic kind of experience for us. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Fire departments fight a culture that saves — and costs — lives," 13 July 2018 Akinfeev!’ [the name of the heroic Russian goalkeeper] into ‘Putin! The Economist, "Russia shows another side at the World Cup," 5 July 2018 The Deavors hope to accomplish this by equipping Elastigirl’s suit with a hidden camera whose footage will demonstrate and vindicate her every heroic move. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "How the dazzling, overstuffed ‘Incredibles 2’ holds up a cracked mirror to present-day reality," 4 July 2018 There is a lot of humanity in the humble images of heroic struggles where the sea turns crimson and dying whales spout blood in sweet, thought-balloon-like shapes. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New England museums to visit this summer and fall," 4 July 2018 Presumably to toast Bieber’s heroic behavior elsewhere. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin’s Date Goes Awry in the Hamptons," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jose Cardona followed with a single, Nick Noonan was hit by a pitch and Alberto delivered the heroics for the Express. Tim Grubbs, NOLA.com, "'Cakes get tripped up in Round Rock, six game win streak snapped," 10 May 2018 Dwyane Wade has essentially provided the type of heroics that Dion otherwise would have been asked to offer. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Are the Heat's Game 5 answers the same as always?," 24 Apr. 2018 Again, the Brewers went on top in the 10th on an RBI single by Orlando Arcia, who is making a habit of late heroics. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Failure to protect leads, heavy usage have put Brewers' bullpen in double jeopardy," 11 Apr. 2018 Monday, against Michigan, the Wildcats didn't need those type of heroics. Langston Wertz Jr., charlotteobserver, "Villanova blasts Michigan in NCAA final. Social media reacts | Charlotte Observer," 2 Apr. 2018 For all of Latane’s heroics, his most important contribution to the cause might have been his ability to stay calm when Pleasantville seized command at the start of the game. Phil Anastasia, Philly.com, "Jared Latane powers Haddon Heights past Pleasantville," 27 Feb. 2018 Foster's latest display of late-game heroics arrived on Wednesday. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Xavier begins stretch run atop Big East, at Creighton," 9 Feb. 2018 Holaday’s heroics came after right-hander Drew Steckenrider surrendered a one-run lead in the eighth inning. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "**Brewers Marlins head**," 10 July 2018 Ryan’s heroics lifted the Archies (18-9), who lost last year’s final, 5-3, to St. Mary’s of Westfield, to the program’s first state championship since 1995. Chris Bokum, BostonGlobe.com, "Archbishop Williams rallies again, captures D4 baseball championship," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heroic.' 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 heroic


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for heroic

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heroic

The first known use of heroic was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for heroic



English Language Learners Definition of heroic

: of or relating to heroes

: having or showing great courage

: very large or great in size, amount, etc.


he·ro·ic | \hi-ˈrō-ik \

Kids Definition of heroic

1 : of or relating to heroism or heroes heroic tales

2 : courageous, daring a heroic rescue

Other Words from heroic

heroically \-i-kə-lē \ adverb


he·ro·ic | \hi-ˈrō-ik also her-ˈō- or hē-ˈrō-\

Medical Definition of heroic 

1 : of a kind that is likely to be undertaken only to save life heroic surgery heroic treatment

2 : having a pronounced effect used chiefly of medicaments or dosage heroic doses a heroic drug

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Comments on heroic

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