hero [ heer-oh ]
noun, plural he·roes; for 5 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.
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.
3. the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
4. Classical Mythology.
a. a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
b. (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
c. (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.
5. hero sandwich.
6. the bread or roll used in making a hero sandwich.
Compare heroine (defs 1–3).
OTHER WORDS FROM HERO
sub·he·ro, noun, plural sub·he·roes.
un·he·ro, noun, plural un·he·roes.
WORDS RELATED TO HERO
hoagie, sub, submarine, torpedo, grinder
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
3. lead, star
3. villain, heavy
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.
Origin: 1605–15; back formation from Middle English heroes (plural) < Latin hērōs (singular), hērōes (plural) < Greek hḗrōs, hḗrōes
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