heroine

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See also: héroïne

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Via Latin heroina from late Ancient Greek (2nd century) ἡρωΐνη (hērōḯnē), a feminine equivalent of ἥρως (hḗrōs, hero) "hero, demigod".

  • English from 1650. The sense of "female lead character" is from 1715.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

heroine (plural heroines)

  1. A female hero.
  2. A female lead character.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, The Affair at the Novelty Theatre[1]:
      Miss Phyllis Morgan, as the hapless heroine dressed in the shabbiest of clothes, appears in the midst of a gay and giddy throng; she apostrophises all and sundry there, including the villain, and has a magnificent scene which always brings down the house, and nightly adds to her histrionic laurels.

Synonyms[edit]

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Derived terms[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

In the sense 1, it is more common to say hero today.

  • She is an American hero.

Translations[edit]