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[her-oh-in] /ˈhɛr oʊ ɪn/
a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities.
the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.
1650-60; < Latin hērōīnē < Greek hērōī́nē, feminine of hḗrōs hero; see -ine2
Related forms
superheroine, noun
Can be confused
heroin, heroine. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heroines
  • Not long ago, our heroines sat down to tally their investments and returns from this year's academic-job market.
  • Her heroines in this book enjoy what they do and they enjoy the people they're doing it with.
  • Strength and competence blends with beauty to qualify the included heroines.
  • The romancers dwell with great complacency on the fair hair and delicate complexion of their heroines.
  • There is an increasing number of portly heroines in fiction.
  • Hospice nurses are the heroes and heroines of that period, because they are expert in alleviating pain.
  • The hot trend in movie heroines is not the damsel in distress.
  • Her three dissimilar heroines bond because they all worship at the shrine of the bottom line.
  • Cartoon heroines with glistening eyes as big as wading pools.
  • But if fans go to concerts seeking a closer connection to their heroes and heroines, this missed the mark by a mile.
British Dictionary definitions for heroines


a woman possessing heroic qualities
a woman idealized for possessing superior qualities
the main female character in a novel, play, film, etc
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
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Word Origin and History for heroines



1650s, from Latin heroine, heroina (plural heroinae) "a female hero, a demigoddess" (e.g. Medea), from Greek heroine, fem. of heros (see hero (n.1)). As "principal female character" in a drama or poem, from 1715.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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