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hero

[ heer-oh ]
/ ˈhɪər oʊ /
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noun, plural he·roes; for 6 also he·ros.

VIDEO FOR HERO

What Did The Word "Hero" Used To Mean?

We've long been captivated by heroes, but who and what we call heroes has definitely changed over time.

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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 FROM hero

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

Other definitions for hero (2 of 2)

Hero
[ heer-oh ]
/ ˈhɪər oʊ /

noun
Classical Mythology. a priestess of Aphrodite who drowned herself after her lover Leander drowned while swimming the Hellespont to visit her.
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. 2022

How to use hero in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hero (1 of 3)

hero
/ (ˈhɪərəʊ) /

noun plural -roes
a man distinguished by exceptional courage, nobility, fortitude, etc
a man who is idealized for possessing superior qualities in any field
classical myth a being of extraordinary strength and courage, often the offspring of a mortal and a god, who is celebrated for his exploits
the principal male character in a novel, play, etc

Word Origin for hero

C14: from Latin hērōs, from Greek

British Dictionary definitions for hero (2 of 3)

Hero1
/ (ˈhɪərəʊ) /

noun
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)

Hero2

Heron

/ (ˈhɪərəʊ) /

noun
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

Hero
[ hērō ]
First century ce

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.
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