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hero Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength
    • RAF pilots were the heroes of the Battle of Britain
  2. noun the principal character in a play or movie or novel or poem
  3. noun someone who fights for a cause
    paladin; fighter; champion.
  4. noun Greek mathematician and inventor who devised a way to determine the area of a triangle and who described various mechanical devices (first century)
    Hero of Alexandria; Heron.
  5. noun (classical mythology) a being of great strength and courage celebrated for bold exploits; often the offspring of a mortal and a god
  6. noun (Greek mythology) priestess of Aphrodite who killed herself when her lover Leander drowned while trying to swim the Hellespont to see her
  7. noun a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments); different names are used in different sections of the United States
    wedge; bomber; sub; hero sandwich; poor boy; submarine; zep; Cuban sandwich; grinder; torpedo; hoagie; Italian sandwich; hoagy; submarine sandwich.

He"ro noun
F. héros, L. heros, Gr. .
plural Heroes
  1. (Myth.) An illustrious man, supposed to be exalted, after death, to a place among the gods; a demigod, as Hercules.
  2. A man of distinguished valor or enterprise in danger, or fortitude in suffering; a prominent or central personage in any remarkable action or event; hence, a great or illustrious person.
    Each man is a hero and oracle to somebody. Emerson.
  3. The principal personage in a poem, story, and the like, or the person who has the principal share in the transactions related; as Achilles in the Iliad, Ulysses in the Odyssey, and Æneas in the Æneid.
    The shining quality of an epic hero. Dryden.
    Hero worship exists, has existed, and will forever exist, universally among mankind. Carlyle.

Webster 1913