Definition of heroism in English:



  • [mass noun] Great bravery.

    ‘they fought with exemplary heroism’
    • ‘There were periods of real heroism as Scotland tried to speed the game up, Gordon Simpson deciding to run a quick one at the outset.’
    • ‘Each run involved a journey through the hellish smoke and back, but David's heroism had paid off.’
    • ‘So I'm not surprised that she can't enjoy her own heroism and wrestles with enormous survivor guilt.’
    • ‘You will discover riches within yourself that you cannot conceive of, acts of heroism that will take your breath away.’
    • ‘But it is the emerging heroism of Hecuba that Castle may find most inspiring.’
    • ‘The heroism displayed was of an extraordinary nature, and obviously great damage was done to the German war effort.’
    • ‘Though Giles Radice does not say so, this is clearly a form of political heroism which has hitherto been overlooked.’
    • ‘Somewhat more surprising is that some find inspiration for heroism.’
    • ‘And yes, there's plenty of that stoicism and quiet heroism around, and it was on display today.’
    • ‘Bung Karno was drawn to paintings depicting heroism because he was always engaged in struggle.’
    • ‘Yet despite his heroism, Freeman also stirred up storms of controversy.’
    • ‘The story contrasts Asian and western concepts relating suicide and heroism.’
    • ‘We have had mass deaths before, mass suffering, and we have seen heroism in its face.’
    • ‘Tales of such heroism and sacrifice are common to all cultures of course.’
    • ‘The famed leading officer earned the VC for various different acts of heroism, rather than one single act.’
    • ‘One thing about his father is that he neither wanted nor accepted heroism as a birth right.’
    • ‘The presence of two Maori and three women in this book confirm that heroism is independent of race and gender.’
    • ‘He himself didn't find out about his dad's heroism until years later, when he read the story in a newspaper article.’
    • ‘The heroism glamorised by Wolfe and Kaufman was of the balls-out variety.’
    • ‘The heroism of the police is recognized by the coalition in medal ceremonies like this.’
    bravery, braveness, courage, courageousness, valour, valiance, intrepidity, intrepidness, boldness, daring, audacity, audaciousness, fearlessness, doughtiness, dauntlessness, pluck, indomitability, stout-heartedness, lionheartedness
    backbone, spine, spirit, fortitude, mettle, gallantry, chivalry
    guts, grit, spunk, gutsiness
    bottle, ballsiness
    moxie, cojones, sand
    View synonyms


Early 18th century: from French héroïsme, from héros, from Latin heros (see hero).