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

Adjective 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 Many of these pilots were heroic, not to mention wildly lucky, for having flown into combat against Japanese or German forces and lived to tell about it. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, "Flight of restored B-17 bomber harks back to days when skies were not so blue," 12 Nov. 2019 At least individual death can be unquestionably heroic, sacrifice without qualification. Kiley Bense, Longreads, "Whose Boots on the Ground," 7 Nov. 2019 Jack Stephens and Jannik Vestegaard were equally as heroic, but Bednarek was the pick of the three. SI.com, "Manchester City 2-1 Southampton: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Champions Survive Saints Scare," 2 Nov. 2019 Jim Harbaugh: Shea Patterson playing great football, 'heroic' Contact Orion Sang at osang@freepress.com. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football says it won't quit, focuses on Notre Dame," 21 Oct. 2019 But even through the voices of others, a fuller portrait of Garland’s life — wretched, heroic, unjust — begins to emerge. Los Angeles Times, "Judy Garland’s life was run by men. These newly unearthed recordings reveal how," 18 Oct. 2019 There was no question, either, that this was what made the idea so heroic. Alex Perry, Outside Online, "The Last Days of John Allen Chau," 24 July 2019 Algeria keeper Rais M’bolhi ended the tournament with the best statistical record, having conceded only two goals on the way to lifting the trophy, but Mohamed El-Shenawy's performances for Egypt were nothing short of heroic at times. SI.com, "Africa Cup of Nations: 2019 Team of the Tournament," 20 July 2019 The video took three months and was worth the wait: The world saw Morten Harket’s heroic cheekbones and swooned. Rob Tannenbaum, Los Angeles Times, "‘Taaaake onnn meee!’ The unkillable, oh-so-profitable afterlife of a-ha’s ‘80s classic," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This time the late-game heroics came after Philip Rivers threw a 6-yard pass to Austin Ekeler that gave the Chargers (4-6) a 24-20 lead with 4:02 remaining. BostonGlobe.com, "OAKLAND, Calif. — Derek Carr engineered another late winning drive. Karl Joseph delivered the sealing defensive play.," 8 Nov. 2019 My God, both teams just banging at each other and the close games and the late-inning heroics. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Braves back in Atlanta, where other teams come to celebrate," 8 Oct. 2019 Both teams just banging at each other and the close games and the late-inning heroics. Maria Torres, Los Angeles Times, "Cardinals’ Jack Flaherty to match up against Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz in NLDS Game 5," 8 Oct. 2019 Typically, the reason that teams are able to come back against Orlando City late is that the team only takes a one-goal lead rather than creating a cushion to fend off any late-game heroics. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City faces growing frustration over pattern of dropping late-game leads," 27 Sep. 2019 Their first meeting had everything — stylistic clashes, lead changes, late-game heroics — except an outcome in regulation. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes could be ‘next Brady-Manning matchup,' Ravens coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale says," 19 Sep. 2019 Juneau stayed alive with late-game heroics against the Wolverines. Anchorage Daily News, "Juneau wins twice in extra innings to grab a third straight state baseball championship," 1 Aug. 2019 This one, two days after the Americans needed late-game heroics to beat Turkey 93-92 in overtime, was drama-free. Tim Reynolds, BostonGlobe.com, "Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker lead Team USA past Japan," 5 Sep. 2019 This one, two days after the Americans needed late-game heroics to beat Turkey 93-92 in overtime, was drama-free. Tim Reynolds, Houston Chronicle, "US rolls by Japan at World Cup, next faces Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece," 5 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for heroic

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for heroic

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Heroic.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heroic. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for heroic


How to pronounce heroic (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heroic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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