her·​o·​ism | \ ˈher-ə-ˌwi-zəm How to pronounce heroism (audio) , ˈhe-rə- also ˈhir- \

Definition of heroism

1 : heroic conduct especially as exhibited in fulfilling a high purpose or attaining a noble end
2 : the qualities of a hero

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Examples of heroism in a Sentence

women who showed heroism by fighting for their right to vote the inspiring heroism of the firefighters who risked their lives to save the people trapped in the burning building
Recent Examples on the Web In the segregated forces that served in World Wars I and II, no Black soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor, despite clear examples of selfless heroism. New York Times, "A Black Soldier’s Heroism, Overlooked in 1965, May Finally Be Lauded in 2021," 15 Feb. 2021 Special Agent Alfin and Special Agent Schwartzenberger exemplified heroism today in defense of their country. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, "US marshal shot in Baltimore while serving arrest warrant," 4 Feb. 2021 The resiliency, culture and heroism of Black Americans and the African diaspora will be the central theme of a virtual event that will celebrate the nation’s diversity on the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "3 Louisiana marching bands to participate in inaugural event celebrating Black Americans," 19 Jan. 2021 The iconic image of American heroism is turned on its head. Amir Ahmadi Arian, The New York Review of Books, "The Martyrdom of Soleimani in the Propaganda Art of Iran," 30 Sep. 2020 The officer, Eugene Goodman, had already been commended for leading rioters away from the Senate chamber as it was being evacuated, an act of heroism documented on a reporter’s cellphone and widely circulated. Anchorage Daily News, "House impeachment managers emphasize the danger to Pence and other top officials in harrowing retelling of Jan. 6 attack," 11 Feb. 2021 The alliance is secured, but Adam's heroism looks like a lot less definite after that. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Best of 2020 (Behind the Scenes): How the art of Strange Adventures captured a year of uncertainty," 29 Dec. 2020 The extraordinary heroism displayed by CWO Novosel was an inspiration to his comrades in arms and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army. Drew Broach | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "On Veterans Day, meet all 26 of Louisiana's Medal of Honor recipients," 10 Nov. 2020 Through it all, people tried to take heart in the resilience and everyday heroism on display — the medical professionals, the bus drivers, the food service employees and other essential workers who soldiered on at great risk to themselves. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "2020 vision: Looking back at a year of pandemic and pain in Baltimore, and casting a hopeful eye toward the new year," 24 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heroism.' 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 heroism

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for heroism

Time Traveler

The first known use of heroism was in 1672

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Statistics for heroism

Last Updated

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Heroism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heroism. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for heroism



English Language Learners Definition of heroism

: great courage


her·​o·​ism | \ ˈher-ə-ˌwi-zəm How to pronounce heroism (audio) \

Kids Definition of heroism

1 : behavior showing great courage especially for a noble purpose the heroism of soldiers
2 : the qualities of a hero We honor the heroism of our forefathers.

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