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

This guy is heroic, he’s been failed by the institution, and could use the support: Speaking of…. • Root for the players who could use it. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Insider's Guide to Attending the 2019 U.S. Open," 21 Aug. 2019 After the heroic act, Danny also helped the boy calm down from the traumatic event. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "‘Blue Bloods’ and ‘NCIS: LA’ Actor Danny Trejo Saved a Child From an Overturned Car," 11 Aug. 2019 With the support of her husband and the health professionals at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Allison waged a heroic, decade-long struggle against ovarian cancer. courant.com, "Allison G. Thomson-Vicuna," 18 July 2019 And Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher who made forgetting heroic, is always close at hand. Michael S. Roth, Washington Post, "To find serenity, freedom and creativity, sometimes it’s best to forget," 18 July 2019 Majestic waterfalls and dams look heroic, but solar panels do not. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World)," 6 July 2019 That's why Good Housekeeping and actor John Cena are eager to celebrate their heroic acts in a huge way. Andra Chantim And Hali Potters, Good Housekeeping, "John Cena Is Honoring Hometown Heroes in a Brand New Contest," 20 June 2019 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 There’s a lot of people who won’t wear it on their sleeve, or display it through some heroic act. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "President George H. W. Bush Has Died At Age 94," 1 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But despite Trout’s heroics, the Angels enter Tuesday two games under .500 at 56–58. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Were We Wrong About the Mets?," 6 Aug. 2019 Soup is banished and so is Roscuro, by an angry princess; meanwhile, Despereaux is likewise exiled, and his own link to the princess sets up an eventual rodent showdown, complete with heroics and redemption. San Diego Union-Tribune, "PigPen Theatre is back at the Old Globe Theatre with world-premiere musical adaptation ‘The Tale of Despereaux’," 7 July 2019 Banks is also excited about the uniqueness of the film, an action movie starring three women, that doesn’t involve super heroics. Kara Warner, PEOPLE.com, "Elizabeth Banks Says Kristen Stewart Is Charlie's Angels' Secret Weapon: Fans 'Will Be Delighted'," 27 June 2019 America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy, not revolution but restoration. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Trump’s ‘Sleepy Joe’ Problem," 19 June 2019 Xherdan Shaqiri provided the heroics with a goal in the 90th minute. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Top 10 World Cup moments: Heroics from Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Hirving Lozano," 29 June 2018 The junior quarterback, who spent last offseason soaking up praise in wake of his national championship game heroics against Georgia, has taken his share of hits since that crushing 44-16 defeat to Clemson on college football’s biggest stage. Rainer Sabin | Rsabin@al.com, al.com, "Why Tua Tagovailoa feels ‘glad’ he experienced Clemson loss," 17 July 2019 Her heroics in the quarterfinal against France were a wonder to watch. Marc A. Thiessen, The Mercury News, "Thiessen: Megan Rapinoe is harming the fight for gender equality," 5 July 2019 Tebow failed to meet first-round expectations through a short Denver stint, but his brief heroics should have been enough to crack the Top-100 team. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "5 biggest snubs from Broncos’ all-time Top-100 team," 5 July 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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Statistics for heroic

Last Updated

24 Aug 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

Comments on heroic

What made you want to look up heroic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

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