Definition: Hero

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From Middle English heroes, from Old French heroes, from Latin hērōs (“hero”), from Ancient Greek ἥρως (hḗrōs, “demi-god, hero”), from Proto-Indo-European *ser- (“to watch over, protect”). Related to Latin servo (“protect”). Displaced Middle English heleð, haleð, from Old English hæle.


hero (plural heroes or (sandwich sense only) heros, feminine heroine)

  1. A real or mythical person of great bravery who carries out extraordinary deeds.
  2. A role model.
  3. The main protagonist in a work of fiction.
  4. A champion.
  5. (US) A large sandwich made from meats and cheeses; a hero sandwich.
  6. (web design) The eye-catching top portion of a web page, sometimes including a hero image; the portion above the fold.

Derived terms

  • action hero
  • antihero
  • folk hero
  • local hero
  • hero worship
  • heroic
  • heroics
  • heroism
  • superhero
  • tragic hero
  • unsung hero

Related terms

  • heroine


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