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[an-tee-heer-oh, an-tahy-] /ˈæn tiˌhɪər oʊ, ˈæn taɪ-/
noun, plural antiheroes.
a protagonist who lacks the attributes that make a heroic figure, as nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose, and the like.
1705-15; anti- + hero
Related forms
[an-tee-her-oh-iz-uh m, an-tahy-] /ˌæn tiˈhɛr oʊˌɪz əm, ˌæn taɪ-/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for antiheroes
  • In the poem, the eponymous antiheroes use trickery to consume a great number of oysters.
British Dictionary definitions for antiheroes


noun (pl) -roes
a central character in a novel, play, etc, who lacks the traditional heroic virtues
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 antiheroes



also anti-hero; 1714, from anti- + hero.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for antiheroes


a protagonist of a drama or narrative who is notably lacking in heroic qualities. This type of character has appeared in literature since the time of the Greek dramatists and can be found in the literary works of all nations. Examples include the title characters of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote (Part I, 1605; Part II, 1615) and Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (1749). Some examples of the modern, postwar antihero, as defined by the Angry Young Men, include Joe Lampton, in John Braine's Room at the Top (1957), and Arthur Seaton, in Alan Sillitoe's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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