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

Snowden's supporters saw the massive document dump as a heroic act. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "The Snowden Legacy, part one: What’s changed, really?," 21 Nov. 2018 Pushing through pain is supposed to be heroic and manly. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Daredevil’s ‘suffering makes a man’ trope is common, familiar, and bad for everyone," 24 Oct. 2018 Michel, the son of Princess Margaret of Denmark and Prince René of Bourbon-Parma, is perhaps best remembered for his heroic efforts fighting for the Allied forces during World War II. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Prince Philip’s Cousin Was a Paratrooper Who Helped Liberate France From the Nazis," 20 Aug. 2018 With flashing eyes that tear up at the drop of a cat and a muscular frame made for monument-worthy poses, this Padraic is a strutting contradiction of attraction and repulsion, daring us to question our conventional notions of the heroic. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Orlando Bloom and Aidan Turner Are Drenched in Blood in London," 4 July 2018 The film’s heroes may not be so heroic and the damsels may not be in much distress. Mark Olsen, latimes.com, "Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska revel in 'Damsel's' new take on the Old West," 27 June 2018 To say Jose's actions were heroic and brave are an understatement. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Bystanders drag driver from blazing car crash, as seen in this police video | The Sacramento Bee," 4 Apr. 2018 The third installment in the series about Mario’s not-so-heroic brother vacuuming up poltergeists in a quest to find his brother is coming sometime next year. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Nintendo reveals Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Switch is coming in 2019," 13 Sep. 2018 But, on the whole, the performance of our public servants was heroic, not destructive. John Mccain, Popular Mechanics, "John McCain: The 9/11 Conspiracy Myths and the Truth Under Attack," 11 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Stewart’s heroics in the Philippines comes from his Medal of Honor citation. WSJ, "Archangel Endnotes," 9 Nov. 2018 The Storm won the first two despite Diana Taurasi’s typical late-game heroics. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "One for the ages: Storm gets crown jewel in classic WNBA semifinals victory over Phoenix," 4 Sep. 2018 According to RMC Sport, though, Perisic’s heroics in the semi final may have come at a cost to his side and his own ambitions for featuring in the showpiece event in Moscow. SI.com, "Injury Threatens to Rule Star Ivan Perisic Out of Croatia's World Cup Final Meeting With France," 13 July 2018 The team’s heroics in the group stage had inspired Mexico’s horde of traveling fans to sing his name from the stands — a remarkable turnaround for a coach pelted with criticism in the weeks heading into the tournament. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Brazil’s Joy Is Mexico’s Heartbreak in World Cup Knockout," 4 July 2018 Ochoa kept his team in contention with more heroics as the second half progressed, including a diving save on Willian, but Mexico simply lacked the attacking composure needed to offer any kind of legitimate threat. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Mexico heartbroken again with World Cup round of 16 loss against Brazil," 2 July 2018 More heroics may be needed to ensure a place in the round of 16. #MundialTelemundo ¡Héroe sobre la hora! Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "World Cup schedule, TV and streaming info: Mexico, Brazil aim to win their groups," 26 June 2018 Cristiano Ronaldo will attempt to follow up his World Cup opening game heroics for Portugal against a Morocco side licking their wounds after a crushing last-gasp defeat. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Ronaldo seeks encore against 'battle-hardened' Morocco," 19 June 2018 Between the outfits and the heroics, what’s not to love? Seventeen, "11 Super Fun Quizzes You Need To Try ASAP," 13 Aug. 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

14 Dec 2018

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on heroic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heroic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heroic

Spanish Central: Translation of heroic

Nglish: Translation of heroic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heroic for Arabic Speakers

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