1. a woman noted for courageous acts or nobility of character: Esther and other biblical heroines.
  2. a woman who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal: Name two women who have been heroines in your life.
  3. the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.


  1. a woman possessing heroic qualities
  2. a woman idealized for possessing superior qualities
  3. the main female character in a novel, play, film, etc

1650s, from Latin heroine, heroina (plural heroinae) “a female hero, a demigoddess” (e.g. Medea), from Greek heroine, fem. of heros (see hero (n.1)). As “principal female character” in a drama or poem, from 1715.

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