1. Also he·ro·i·cal. of, relating to, or characteristic of a hero or heroine.
  2. suitable to the character of a hero in size or concept; daring; noble: a heroic ambition.
  3. having or displaying the character or attributes of a hero; extraordinarily bold, altruistic, determined, etc.: a heroic explorer.
  4. having or involving recourse to boldness, daring, or extreme measures: Heroic measures were taken to save his life.
  5. dealing with or describing the deeds, attributes, etc., of heroes, as in literature.
  6. of, relating to, or characteristic of the heroes of antiquity: heroic mythology.
  7. used in heroic poetry.Compare heroic verse.
  8. resembling heroic poetry in language or style; grandiloquent.
  9. (of style or language) lofty; extravagant; grand.
  10. larger than life-size: a statue of heroic proportions.
  1. Usually heroics. heroic verse.
  2. heroics,
    1. flamboyant or extravagant language, sentiment, or behavior, intended to seem heroic.
    2. heroic action or behavior.

Origin of heroic

1540–50; < Latin hērōicus < Greek hērōïkós of, pertaining to a hero; compare late Middle English heroical, heroicus; see hero, -ic
Related formshe·ro·i·cal·ly, adverbhe·ro·i·cal·ness, he·ro·ic·ness, he·ro·ic·i·ty [heer-oh-is-i-tee] /ˌhɪər oʊˈɪs ɪ ti/, nounnon·he·ro·ic, adjectivenon·he·ro·i·cal, adjectivenon·he·ro·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·he·ro·i·cal·ness, nounnon·he·ro·ic·ness, nounpseu·do·he·ro·ic, adjectivepseu·do·he·ro·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·he·ro·i·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-he·ro·ic, adjectivequa·si-he·ro·i·cal·ly, adverbsu·per·he·ro·ic, adjectivesu·per·he·ro·i·cal·ly, adverbun·he·ro·ic, adjectiveun·he·ro·ic·ness, nounun·he·ro·i·cal, adjectiveun·he·ro·i·cal·ly, adverbun·he·ro·i·cal·ness, noun

Synonyms for heroic

Antonyms for heroic

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

Examples from the Web for non-heroic

Historical Examples of non-heroic

  • If we are to trust the evidence of the records it is due to differences in the ideas which animated heroic and non-heroic society.

    The Heroic Age

    H. Munro Chadwick

British Dictionary definitions for non-heroic



  1. of, like, or befitting a hero
  2. courageous but desperate
  3. relating to or treating of heroes and their deeds
  4. of, relating to, or resembling the heroes of classical mythology
  5. (of language, manner, etc) extravagant
  6. prosody of, relating to, or resembling heroic verse
  7. (of the arts, esp sculpture) larger than life-size; smaller than colossal
  8. RC Church
    1. held to such a degree as to enable a person to perform virtuous actions with exceptional promptness, ease and pleasure, and with self-abnegation and self-controlheroic virtue
    2. performed or undergone by such a personthe heroic witness of martyrdom
See also heroics
Derived Formsheroically, adverbheroicalness or heroicness, noun
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 non-heroic



1540s, shortened from heroical (early 15c.), also heroycus "noble, magnanimous," from Latin heroicus "of a hero, heroic, mythical," from Greek heroikos "pertaining to heroes," from heros (see hero (n.1)). Earlier was heroical (early 15c.). The Heroic Age in Greece was the time before the return of the armies from the fall of Troy. Related: Heroically. Heroic verse (1610s), decasyllabic iambic, is from Italian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

non-heroic in Medicine


  1. Relating to a risky medical procedure that may endanger the patient but also has a possibility of being successful, whereas lesser action would result in failure.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.