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[heer-oh] /ˈhɪər oʊ/
noun, plural heroes; for 5 also heros.
a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal:
He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
Classical Mythology.
  1. a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
  2. (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
  3. (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.
the bread or roll used in making a hero sandwich.
1605-15; back formation from Middle English heroes (plural) < Latin hērōs (singular), hērōes (plural) < Greek hḗrōs, hḗrōes
Related forms
herolike, adjective
subhero, noun, plural subheroes.
unhero, noun, plural unheroes.
unherolike, adjective
3. lead, star.
3. villain, heavy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heroes
  • Read a collection of essays authored by heroes and leaders in the field of water solutions and innovations.
  • The press didn't make your heroes into rapists and enablers.
  • heroes was the prime-time superhero show that got all the buzz, and ultimately all the disappointment.
  • Wartime heroes are never good peacetime heroes and so the saying goes.
  • Louis nearly two and a half years after their journey began and are acclaimed as national heroes.
  • Three new books reveal how much heroes and even distant acquaintances influence us.
  • The comics superpower is giving all of its heroes a fresh start.
  • It is incredibly difficult to create fictional scientists who are neither insane villains nor cardboard heroes.
  • We don't really get the same as the sports heroes or movie stars it has to said.
  • If the two heroes of economics coming from different angles of the discipline agree, their common view cannot be false.
British Dictionary definitions for heroes


noun (pl) -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
C14: from Latin hērōs, from Greek


(Greek myth) a priestess of Aphrodite, who killed herself when her lover Leander drowned while swimming the Hellespont to visit her


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
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Word Origin and History for heroes



late 14c., "man of superhuman strength or physical courage," from Latin heros "hero," from Greek heros "demi-god" (a variant singular of which was heroe), originally "defender, protector," from PIE root *ser- "to watch over, protect" (cf. Latin servare "to save, deliver, preserve, protect;" see observe). Meaning "man who exhibits great bravery" in any course of action is from 1660s. Sense of "chief male character in a play, story, etc." first recorded 1690s. First record of hero-worship is from 1774.

1955, the New York term for a sandwich elsewhere called submarine, grinder, poor boy (New Orleans), or hoagie (Philadelphia); origin unknown, perhaps so called for its great size, or a folk etymology alteration of Greek gyro as a type of sandwich.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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heroes in Science
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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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