her·o·ism | \ˈher-ə-ˌwi-zəm, 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

Police reports, witness statements and dispatch logs shared earlier have provided more detail about the confusion and heroism as the concert venue became a killing field. Ken Ritter, Fox News, "Police release more video from officers at Vegas shooting," 13 June 2018 But because, first, improbable athleticism, drama and heroism can elevate the game to the level of art (see article). The Economist, "For all its faults, the World Cup in Russia is worth celebrating," 9 June 2018 And in Part 3, Hero becomes Ulysses, and Parks turns her attention to the reluctant warrior’s homecoming from his odyssey, deconstructing not just the hero’s welcome but heroism itself. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "It'll take more than the Civil War, says Suzan-Lori Parks in her brilliant 'Father Comes Home'," 5 June 2018 There were accounts of bravery and heroism amid the tragedy, and some officers used their reports to praise the actions of others — including a recruit at the scene who began performing first aid immediately. David Montero, latimes.com, "'Why am I going to die today?': The words of first responders to deadly Las Vegas shooting," 25 May 2018 In addition, several other troops, including at least three sailors, received Silver Stars in secret ceremonies for their heroism in combat that day, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, "President Donald Trump awards Navy SEAL the Medal of Honor for fight against al-Qaeda," 24 May 2018 Tragically, heroism and incompetence are inseparable. The Economist, "Anthony Beevor’s new history of Arnhem," 24 May 2018 Rather than carry on the legacy of All Quiet on the Western Front, Wolfe frames his protagonists as archetypes of heroism and duty—often facetiously and flippantly, but with a genuine admiration for the warriors in the sky. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "You Should Read "The Right Stuff"," 15 May 2018 Critics noted Trump’s history of avoiding opportunities for heroism. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump’s Fantasies Meet the Harsh Reality of His Presidency," 28 Feb. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near heroism

heroic verse







Statistics for heroism

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for heroism

The first known use of heroism was in 1672

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More Definitions for heroism



English Language Learners Definition of heroism

: great courage


her·o·ism | \ˈher-ə-ˌwi-zəm \

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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Comments on heroism

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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