[ hur-kyuh-leez ]
/ ˈhɜr kyəˌliz /
Save This Word!

noun, genitive Her·cu·lis [hur-kyuh-lis] /ˈhɜr kyə lɪs/ for 2.
Also Her·a·cles [her-uh-kleez] /ˈhɛr əˌkliz/ .Also called Al·ci·des [al-sahy-deez] /ælˈsaɪ diz/ .Classical Mythology. a celebrated hero, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, possessing exceptional strength: among his many adventures were the twelve labors for his cousin Eurystheus, performed in order to gain immortality.Compare labors of Hercules.
Astronomy. a northern constellation, between Lyra and Corona Borealis.


Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of Hercules

From Latin Herculēs, Herclēs, Greek; see Heracles
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use Hercules in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Hercules (1 of 2)


Heracles or Herakles

/ (ˈhɜːkjʊˌliːz) /

Also called: Alcides classical myth a hero noted for his great strength, courage, and for the performance of twelve immense labours
a man of outstanding strength or size

Derived forms of Hercules

Herculean, Heraclean or Heraklean, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for Hercules (2 of 2)

/ (ˈhɜːkjʊˌliːz) /

noun Latin genitive Herculeis (ˌhɜːkjʊˈliːɪs)
a large constellation in the N hemisphere lying between Lyra and Corona Borealis
a conspicuous crater in the NW quadrant of the moon, about 70 kilometres in diameter
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 Hercules

[ hûrkyə-lēz′ ]

A constellation in the Northern Hemisphere near Lyra and Corona Borealis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for Hercules


One of the greatest heroes of classical mythology, he is supposed to have been the strongest man on earth. He was renowned for completing twelve seemingly impossible tasks — the Labors of Hercules. One of these labors was the cleaning of the Augean stables; another was the killing of the nine-headed Hydra. Hercules was a son of Zeus.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.