he·​ro·​ic | \ hi-ˈrō-ik also her-ˈō- or hē-ˈrō- How to pronounce heroic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly heroical \ hi-​ˈrō-​i-​kəl How to pronounce heroical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce heroically (audio) \ 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 superhero and horror genres fit into each other, creating a single monstrous or heroic amalgam. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Since season 1, Jessica Jones has struggled to mix horror with superheroes," 18 June 2019 Don Bolles is gone, but the fearless, tenacious spirit which motivated and sustained him in his work — and in his heroic but losing battle for his life — will live on. AZCentral.com, "Don Bolles loses fight for life: Remembering the reporter with his 1976 obituary," 13 June 2019 He was shot dead in 2015 trying to stop a robbery at a North Philadelphia GameStop, an action his commissioner and the mayor described as heroic. Chris Palmer, Philly.com, "Slain Philly cop's family: DA Larry Krasner is 'favoring the criminals'," 23 Mar. 2018 Sean Bean is in excellent Sean Bean form as detective Marlott, playing the character as half-haggard half-heroic. Lincoln Michel, GQ, "The Great Bingeable Gothic Mystery on Netflix," 17 Mar. 2018 Watch an ant rip apart a spiderweb to rescue a sibling Ants are famous for putting themselves at risk for the wellbeing of their colony, but desert harvester ants are especially heroic. Alex Fox, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: The science of false confessions, transforming blood types, and Brazil’s war on drugs," 14 June 2019 La Liga side Levante signed the Saudi version of Lionel Messi, but the player was nowhere to be seen during his new side's heroic actions of rescuing a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid. SI.com, "Fans Show Anger After Levante's New Signing 'Saudi Lionel Messi' is Omitted From the Squad," 4 Feb. 2018 Still, there is humankind, wonderful, brilliant, heroic, tragic—as Hamlet says, how like a god. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 The flashbacks play out in a mock-heroic style with tinges of magic realism — a leopard emerging from the forest at an opportune moment, a gang boss punishing his enemies in a particularly crushing manner. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: The Criminal Life in Mumbai in ‘Sacred Games’," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Unlike their opponents on Thursday, Chile were able to keep the scoreline down to a respectable amount against the USA, largely thanks to heroics from goalkeeper Christiane Endler. SI.com, "Women's World Cup - Matchday 14 Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Team News & More," 18 June 2019 Smartphone cameras have become good enough for almost all my personal and professional needs, especially over the past year with Google’s Night Sight and Huawei’s unbelievable P30 Pro low-light and zoom heroics. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Panasonic Lumix S1 review: the mirrorless heavyweight," 18 June 2019 If Green can hold on Sunday, her Hazeltine heroics would be the most shocking to date. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Australian Hannah Green could be next in line of Hazeltine’s shocking major champions," 22 June 2019 As reward for their heroics earning promotion back to the Premier League, Villa are ready to ditch several of the stars that got them there and fork out for expensive upgrades. SI.com, "Transfer Rumours: Herrera's Next Move, Maguire Latest, Sarr to Newcastle or Watford & More," 18 June 2019 His heroics are still being recognized — FSU paid for his law school expenses, Tallahassee gave him the key to the city. Washington Post, "He always hated women.," 7 June 2019 His heroics are still being recognized - FSU paid for his law school expenses, Tallahassee gave him the key to the city. Steve Hendrix, Anchorage Daily News, "He always hated women. Then he decided to kill them.," 7 June 2019 The award, traditionally given to coaches for on-field heroics, was accepted by Bonner on behalf of the three men's off-field heroism as their surviving family members proudly took the stage behind him. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, "ESPN awards ESPYs to victims of Larry Nassar, hero coaches from Parkland, Fla.," 19 July 2018 But for the heroics of the Korean goalkeeper, the Swedes' victory would have been far more emphatic. SI.com, "Sweden 1-0 South Korea: Dream Start for Swedes as Granqvist Penalty Breaks Koreans' Resistance," 18 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

13 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce heroic (audio) \

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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