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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Hawley presents Roosevelt as a flawed but heroic figure whose greatness lay in rejecting the idea that liberty is synonymous with freedom. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "Is Josh Hawley For Real?," 25 July 2019 In the end, thanks to Daniel’s delivery of the lights and paralyzed Wendell’s heroic last-second crawl to plug them back in, the plane landed safely and disaster was diverted…for now. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Fear the Walking Dead showrunners on that surprise engagement," 22 July 2019 Anthony admits to being pleasantly surprised how often people have embraced some of the film's most emotional sequences, over the super-heroic slugfest spectacle. Scott Huver, CNN, "The Russo brothers on the past obsessions that fuel their filmmaking future," 21 July 2019 Those who were perhaps in denial of Arya's heroic feat resorted to a questionable theory: What if Jon Snow actually helped her kill the Night King? Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Maisie Williams Shut Down a Game of Thrones Theory About Jon Snow Helping Arya in the Battle of Winterfell," 20 July 2019 Nike, for example, has had the good business sense to partner with heroic, controversial sports stars like Colin Kaepernick and Serena Williams. Caille Millner, SFChronicle.com, "Shopping has never been more difficult," 19 July 2019 The sprawling landscape features a heroic young orphan named Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen), themes of religion, philosophy and coming-of-age, the presence of parallel universes, and demons, which are animal manifestations of a person's inner soul. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Comic-Con: HBO's 'His Dark Materials' is a demon-filled 'wild ride' for Lin-Manuel Miranda," 19 July 2019 His bold, heroic portraits of black subjects in poses that channel the Old Masters were on the must-have lists of savvy collectors. Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, "Amy Sherald, Michelle Obama’s Portraitist, Readies her New York Debut," 15 July 2019 Ruth of the people of Moab takes heroic strides to embrace Abraham’s family. Rabbi Avi Weiss, sun-sentinel.com, "Children should not be punished for the sins of their parents," 15 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of heroic


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heroic

Statistics for heroic

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heroic

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


marked by turns or indirection

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!