See also: Hero and Héró


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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)[1][2]. Related to Latin servo (protect). Displaced Middle English heleð, haleð, from Old English hæleþ.



hero (plural heroes, feminine heroine)

  1. Somebody who possesses great bravery and carries out extraordinary or noble deeds.
    • 1986 August 10, “Cancer victim some kind of hero”, in The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA:
      "I'm no hero," insists freckle-faced 14-year-old Freddie Hanberry. But to many of the young cancer patients, nurses and staff at University Medical Center here, he is as close as you can get. The "hero" talk began when a national magazine featured Hanberry, who has leukemia, in a special section called "100 New American Heroes."
    • 1993, Susanne Baxandall; Prasuna Reddy, The Courage to Care: The Impact of Cancer on the Family:
      Every cancer victim is a true hero.
    • 2011 September 12, Eileen Faust, “5-year-old Phoenixville cancer victim loses fight”, in The Mercury:
      She is my hero, my heart, my baby till the end of time,” said Gabby's father
    • 2011 September 12, Jen Armstrong, “Sherrill honors heroes of 9/11”, in Oneida Dispatch:
      Each flag represents a hero, Andrews said, whether a first responder or victim of 9/11, active, fallen, or retired military, special friend or family member.
  2. A role model.
  3. The protagonist in a work of fiction.
    • 1987, Kamil Zvelebil, Two Tamil Folktales: The Story of King Matan̲akāma, The Story of Peacock Rāvaṇa, →ISBN, page xlii:
      However, even this great hero of the story is somewhat of a simpleton (when he lets himself be crucially deceived by Peacock Ravana in Vibhisana's shape), and a weakling (when in spite of all his strength he is almost beaten by his own son, one of the rākṣasas)
    • 1992, The Tragic Hero Through the Ages, page 242:
      Satan is wrongly called the hero of Paradise Lost. He is really the villain-hero or the counter-hero
  4. (poker) The current player, especially an hypothetical player for example and didactic purposes. Compare: villain (any opponent player). Not to be confused with hero call (a weak call against a supposed bluff).
    Let's discuss how to play if the hero has KK, and there's an ace on board.
  5. (US) A large sandwich made from meats and cheeses; a hero sandwich.
  6. (food styling, chiefly attributive) The product chosen from several candidates to be photographed.
    • 2003, Solomon H. Katz, William Woys Weaver, Encyclopedia of Food and Culture
      The preparation of the hero food involves any number of specialized techniques food stylists have developed to deal with the demands of photographing food.
    • 2008, Linda Bellingham, Jean Ann Bybee, Brad G. Rogers, Food Styling for Photographers (page 8)
      Protect the hero food. Whether the hero items are on a table in the studio or in the refrigerator, freezer, etc., be sure they are identified as hero items and not for consumption.
    • 2008, David Random, Defying Gravity (page 24)
      The food stylists this day had spent inordinate amounts of time preparing the hero product for a close-up scene.
  7. (web design) The eye-catching top portion of a web page, sometimes including a hero image; the portion above the fold.


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (2000)
  2. ^ Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition (1999)




From English hero, 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).


  • Hyphenation: he‧ro



  1. a hero




  1. (archaic) Alternative form of her

Further readingEdit



(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


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  1. to love

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of here (their)