[ hur-kyuh-leez ]
/ ˈhɜr kyəˌliz /

noun, genitive Her·cu·lis [hur-kyuh-lis] /ˈhɜr kyə lɪs/ for 2.

Also Heracles. Also called Alcides. 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.

Origin of Hercules

< Latin Herculēs, Herclēs < Greek; see Heracles

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hercules

British Dictionary definitions for hercules



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 FormsHerculean, Heraclean or Heraklean, adjective


/ (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

Word Origin and History for hercules


hero, son of Zeus and Alcmene, c.1200 (originally in reference to the Pillars of Hercules), also Ercules, from Latin Hercles, from Greek Herakles, literally "Glory of Hera;" from Hera (q.v.) + kleos "glory, renown" (see Clio). Used figuratively of strength since late 14c. Vocative form Hercule was a common Roman interjection (especially me Hercule!) "assuredly, certainly."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science 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.

Culture 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.