[ heer-oh ]
See synonyms for hero on Thesaurus.com
noun,plural he·roes; for 6 also he·ros.
  1. a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character: He became a local hero when he saved the drowning child.: Compare heroine (def. 1).

  2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal: My older sister is my hero. Entrepreneurs are our modern heroes.: Compare heroine (def. 2).

  1. an animal acknowledged for its courageous acts, devotion to duty, etc.:This police dog hero was shot during the apprehension of a suspect.

  2. the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.: Compare heroine (def. 3).

  3. Classical Mythology.

    • a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.

    • (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.

    • (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.

  4. the bread or roll used in making a hero sandwich.

  1. being or relating to a person or animal noted for special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities, especially bravery or devotion to duty; heroic: A hero cat helped a firefighter spot a small child in a burning building.

  2. (in advertising and marketing) especially notable, important, or central: Producing new hero content twice a year can help your brand grow.Your hero product should be obvious on your website.

verb (used with object)
  1. to praise or treat as special; laud: We hero the moms who were writing parenting guides and giving advice to new mothers.Over the years, the judging panel has rightly heroed brands championing equal rights.

  2. to bring to attention; highlight: These dishes beautifully hero the fresh organic ginger.

Origin of hero

First recorded in 1605–15; back formation from Middle English heroes (plural), from Latin hērōs (singular), hērōes (plural), from Greek hḗrōs, hḗrōes

usage note For hero

In its earliest use, the word hero was applied almost exclusively to a man. The corresponding word heroine was–and still is–reserved for a woman. Hero is still sometimes used to refer specifically to a man: British heroes and heroines. But hero is now considered to be a gender-neutral word, and is also increasingly used to refer to a woman: a list of American heroes; Joan of Arc, a French hero. In the sense "the principal character in a story, play, etc.," a hero is male and a heroine is female: Margaret is the novel’s heroine.

Other words for hero

Opposites for hero

Other words from hero

  • he·ro·like, adjective
  • sub·he·ro, noun, plural sub·he·roes.
  • un·he·ro, noun, plural un·he·roes.
  • un·he·ro·like, adjective

Words Nearby hero

Other definitions for Hero (2 of 2)

[ heer-oh ]

  1. Classical Mythology. a priestess of Aphrodite who drowned herself after her lover Leander drowned while swimming the Hellespont to visit her.

  2. Also He·ron [heer-on] /ˈhɪər ɒn/ .Hero of Alexandria, flourished 1st century a.d., Greek scientist.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hero in a sentence

  • His hero, Gulliver, discovers race after race of beings who typify the genera in his classification of mankind.

    Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
  • General Lachambre, as the hero of Cavite, followed to receive the applause which was everywhere showered upon him in Spain.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • El Imparcial maintained that he was worthy of being honoured as a 19th century conquering hero.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • He stood, with the air of a hero, both arms extended towards the amazed pair of lovers.

  • Our hero smiled as he waved his hand to his companions, and, turning away, was soon lost to sight among the bushes.

    Hunting the Lions | R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for hero (1 of 3)


/ (ˈhɪərəʊ) /

nounplural -roes
  1. a man distinguished by exceptional courage, nobility, fortitude, etc

  2. a man who is idealized for possessing superior qualities in any field

  1. classical myth a being of extraordinary strength and courage, often the offspring of a mortal and a god, who is celebrated for his exploits

  2. the principal male character in a novel, play, etc

Origin of hero

C14: from Latin hērōs, from Greek

British Dictionary definitions for Hero (2 of 3)


/ (ˈhɪərəʊ) /

  1. Greek myth a priestess of Aphrodite, who killed herself when her lover Leander drowned while swimming the Hellespont to visit her

British Dictionary definitions for Hero (3 of 3)



/ (ˈhɪərəʊ) /

  1. 1st century ad, Greek mathematician and inventor

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

Scientific definitions for Hero


[ ]

  1. Greek mathematician who wrote on mechanics and invented many water-driven and steam-driven machines. He also developed a formula for determining the area of a triangle.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.