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

After 9/11, things were split between celebrating the heroism of first responders, and then the intensity and confusion of the government's decision to start a war. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Ottessa Moshfegh on the Power of Hawaii," 3 Aug. 2018 Extremely proud to be joined by the Commissioners today to recognize the heroism of seven CHP officers who risked their lives to save the lives of others. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "This California agency has so many new employees that it's installing smaller cubicles | The Sacramento Bee," 23 May 2018 Andrzej Duda, Poland’s president, who hails from the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, lauded the suicidal heroism of the Jewish fighters who battled Nazi troops for nearly a month. The Economist, "Anti-Semitism in Europe may not in fact be rising," 3 May 2018 But as 19 men showed the world their worst, we Americans displayed what makes our country great: courage and heroism, compassion and generosity, unity and resolve. John Mccain, Popular Mechanics, "John McCain: The 9/11 Conspiracy Myths and the Truth Under Attack," 11 Sep. 2018 As critic Lara Zarum wrote in the Village Voice following the release of Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris, Hollywood has always had a fascination with quickly retelling tales of heroism, stretching back to the 1930s. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Competing movies about the Thai cave rescue are already in the works," 13 July 2018 Gassama was not the first Malian migrant to win French citizenship for heroism. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "For migrants, it takes extraordinary acts to earn normal lives," 31 May 2018 Consider: 1,523 Medals of Honor were awarded for heroism in the Civil War,126 in World War I, 471 in World War II, 145 in the Korean War and 260 in Vietnam. James C. Roberts, Anchorage Daily News, "More Iraq veterans deserve the Medal of Honor," 26 Mar. 2018 Against great obstacles, animals have shown their dedication through unbelievable acts of heroism. Alexandra Gekas, Woman's Day, "10 Amazing Animal Rescue Stories," 10 Jan. 2011

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

4 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on heroism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heroism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heroism

Spanish Central: Translation of heroism

Nglish: Translation of heroism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heroism for Arabic Speakers

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).


to gather or build up little by little

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