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

On Twitter, the executive producer on Netflix's Fyre, Gabrielle Bluestone, drew attention to Rolle, both her heroic efforts to feed workers and the financial consequences. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Woman Who Became the Hero of Fyre Festival," 18 Jan. 2019 There is no happy ending, few history books that remember her heroic actions. Teen Vogue, "Mexican Revolutionary Petra Herrera Posed as a Man to Fight for Her Country," 1 Apr. 2019 Aristocratic and born to rule, Aragorn is inherently noble, and brings stability and unity to his realm mainly by possessing heroic qualities. Aja Romano, Vox, "In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.," 27 Dec. 2018 There are so many more examples (here are a bunch of them), but the point is that pigeons used to be seen as not just heroic but worthy of accolades! Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Pigeons Are Actually the Most Magnificent Bird," 20 Nov. 2018 Every now and then, for example, a narrator, voiced by Willem Dafoe, comments on Celeste’s life in a mock-heroic tone that may have been meant to defuse the grandiosity, but only enhances it. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Vox Lux’ Review: Dressing Sharp, Feeling Flat," 6 Dec. 2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp' (2018) More goofy fun, but Evangeline Lilly gets a bigger, more-heroic role and Rudd plays the equivalent of a ditzy blonde from a '50s B-movie. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "We rank every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from worst to best," 6 July 2018 What unfolds is partly a send-up of the art preparatory-patronage system in America and partly her own mock-heroic struggle to not just persevere but (spoiler alert) to triumph. Kathleen Hirsch, BostonGlobe.com, "A portrait of the artist as an older woman," 29 June 2018 Guo Pei’s bride, by contrast, was an heroic study of stillness. Jordan Roth, Vogue, "Jordan Roth: A Man’s View on the Haute Couture," 28 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Eli is definitely more deserving of a spot on this list given his heroics in twice winning Super Bowl MVP honors for the New York Giants with some truly miraculous plays in upsets of the Patriots. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "The 51 greatest players in Super Bowl history," 25 Jan. 2018 The premise is that Track Mode readies the car for performance driving heroics, remapping the stability control and thermal management systems for the rigors of racetrack duty. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Electric Slide: We Drove the Tesla Model 3 in the Snow to See How It Fares as a Rally Car," 21 Feb. 2019 Backman watched his team rally from a 7-0 hole to finally put themselves in the win column after starting the season winless in six contests before Romero's heroics in the tenth. Kimberly Pena, courant.com, "Bees Get First Win In Home Opener, Beating Road Warriors 9-8 On Walk-Off Single," 7 May 2018 That set the stage for the Celtics' comeback in the second half as well as the Bucks' late-game heroics, which turn this best-of-seven series into a best of three. Matt Velazquez, USA TODAY, "Giannis Antetokounmpo's game-winner ties Bucks-Celtics series at 2-2," 22 Apr. 2018 After a crucial ground ball by Louie Adams on the overtime faceoff, the Scots called timeout, setting up the late-game heroics. Wells Dusenbury, Sun-Sentinel.com, "St. Andrew's eliminates two-time defending state champion St. Thomas Aquinas in OT," 2 May 2018 And once the story came out about Colbi’s heroics, he was lauded as a lifesaving hero. Jonathan Small, Good Housekeeping, ""Lord, Just Bring This Baby Back to Life": How a Brave 9-Year-Old Saved a Toddler from Drowning," 16 July 2018 More: Pitcher Shelby Kelley leads Ballard to 7th Region title Templeman, who led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, set up Abbott’s heroics with a bit of her own to end the Jaguars’ seventh. Steve Bittenbender, The Courier-Journal, "Butler ends its 11-year drought and takes home Sixth Region title," 1 June 2018 The Sixers would probably be having exit interviews with coach Brett Brown and the front office if not for McConnell’s heroics. Marc Narducci, Philly.com, "Sixers-Celtics Game 4 observations: T.J. McConnell's presence, Robert Covington's struggles," 8 May 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

20 Apr 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).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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