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[hi-roh-ik] /hɪˈroʊ ɪk/
Also, heroical. of, relating to, or characteristic of a hero or heroine.
suitable to the character of a hero in size or concept; daring; noble:
a heroic ambition.
having or displaying the character or attributes of a hero; extraordinarily bold, altruistic, determined, etc.:
a heroic explorer.
having or involving recourse to boldness, daring, or extreme measures:
Heroic measures were taken to save his life.
dealing with or describing the deeds, attributes, etc., of heroes, as in literature.
of, relating to, or characteristic of the heroes of antiquity:
heroic mythology.
used in heroic poetry.
Compare heroic verse.
resembling heroic poetry in language or style; grandiloquent.
(of style or language) lofty; extravagant; grand.
larger than life-size:
a statue of heroic proportions.
Usually, heroics. heroic verse.
  1. flamboyant or extravagant language, sentiment, or behavior, intended to seem heroic.
  2. heroic action or behavior.
Origin of heroic
late Middle English
1540-50; < Latin hērōicus < Greek hērōïkós of, pertaining to a hero; compare late Middle English heroical, heroicus; see hero, -ic
Related forms
heroically, adverb
heroicalness, heroicness, heroicity
[heer-oh-is-i-tee] /ˌhɪər oʊˈɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nonheroic, adjective
nonheroical, adjective
nonheroically, adverb
nonheroicalness, noun
nonheroicness, noun
pseudoheroic, adjective
pseudoheroical, adjective
pseudoheroically, adverb
quasi-heroic, adjective
quasi-heroically, adverb
superheroic, adjective
superheroically, adverb
unheroic, adjective
unheroicness, noun
unheroical, adjective
unheroically, adverb
unheroicalness, noun
1, 2. dauntless, valiant, valorous, gallant, brave, courageous. 7. epic.
1, 2. cowardly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heroic
  • It is full of familiar clichés peculiar to such heroic fare.
  • Some bloggers and climate scientists see the exposure as heroic.
  • Champions of new inventions display persistence and courage of heroic quality.
  • People more widely acknowledged as heroes represent a broad range of acts considered heroic.
  • The truth of war is not always easy to hear but it always more heroic than the hype.
  • His behavior was outrageously irresponsible--not heroic.
  • Horses still hold a place of honor in many cultures, often linked to heroic exploits in war.
  • heroic deeds-- notably, that of a schoolteacher who died saving the emperor's picture from a fire--embellished the curriculum.
  • Back then, there was no one to witness either the misery or the bravery of this heroic band.
  • Heroes have to always, at the heroic decisive moment, break from the crowd and do something different.
British Dictionary definitions for heroic


of, like, or befitting a hero
courageous but desperate
relating to or treating of heroes and their deeds
of, relating to, or resembling the heroes of classical mythology
(of language, manner, etc) extravagant
(prosody) of, relating to, or resembling heroic verse
(of the arts, esp sculpture) larger than life-size; smaller than colossal
(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-control: heroic virtue
  2. performed or undergone by such a person: the heroic witness of martyrdom
See also heroics
Derived Forms
heroically, adverb
heroicalness, 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
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Word Origin and History for 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
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heroic in Medicine

heroic he·ro·ic (hĭ-rō'ĭk)
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.
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