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Etymology edit

From super- +‎ hero. First attested in 1917.[1]

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Noun edit

Mighty Mouse in "Wolf! Wolf!" (1945)

superhero (plural superheroes)

  1. Any fictional crime-fighting character, often with supernatural powers or equipment, in popular children's and fantasy literature; a fictional hero who does great things.
    • 1990 February 13, Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes (comic):
      Hobbes: Super heroes wear snow pants?
      Stupendous Man: When there's snow out, they do!
  2. (by extension) A particularly renowned real-world hero, or one who has seemingly impossible abilities.
    The power is out but you're watching TV? You must be a superhero.
    Thanks for driving out here and towing me out of the ditch. You're a superhero!
    • 1991, Boys' Life[1], volume 81, number 1, page 42:
      Did you know your community has many invisible superheroes? Each day they perform hundreds of amazing feats that make the community a better place in which to live.

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