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[her-oh-in] /ˈhɛr oʊ ɪn/
a woman noted for courageous acts or nobility of character:
Esther and other biblical heroines.
a woman who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal:
Name two women who have been heroines in your life.
the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.
Compare hero (defs 1–3).
Origin of heroine
1650-60; < Latin hērōīnē < Greek hērōī́nē, feminine of hḗrōs hero; see -ine2
Related forms
superheroine, noun
Can be confused
heroin, heroine.
Usage note
See hero. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for heroine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was not that she could not say "I have done no wickedness;" let us place this heroine in no false light.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Naturally he felt called upon to endorse his heroine, to defend her.

  • The book always came to an end when the hero married the heroine.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • Our heroine balanced for a moment between these two notions.

  • His lordship stared, and could not comprehend our heroine's present meaning.

British Dictionary definitions for heroine


a woman possessing heroic qualities
a woman idealized for possessing superior qualities
the main female character in a novel, play, film, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for heroine

1650s, from Latin heroine, heroina (plural heroinae) "a female hero, a demigoddess" (e.g. Medea), from Greek heroine, fem. of heros (see hero (n.1)). As "principal female character" in a drama or poem, from 1715.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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