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Definition of heroine

Examples of heroine in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heroine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Latin heroina , from Greek hērōinē , feminine of hērōs

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Dictionary Entries Near heroine

Cite this entry.

“Heroine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heroine. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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Kids definition of heroine, more from merriam-webster on heroine.

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a woman noted for courageous acts or nobility of character: Esther and other biblical heroines.

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.

the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.

Origin of heroine

Usage note for heroine, other words from heroine.

  • su·per·her·o·ine, noun
  • Compare hero (defs. 1, 2, 4) .

Words that may be confused with heroine

  • heroin , heroine

Words Nearby heroine

  • heroic stanza
  • heroic tenor
  • heroic verse
  • heroin chic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use heroine in a sentence

Raya is a gorgeous, accessible film, with engaging characters, a winning heroine , and sumptuous animation from start to finish.

Back in Nome, as the families of Maurer, Crawford and Galle clamored for an investigation into the men’s fates, Ada became something of a celebrity, hailed in the press as a heroine on par with Robinson Crusoe.

Virgil stands for empire, too, but he’s also an interesting riff on a classic gothic trope, which is for there to be a sexual attraction tinged with violence between heroine and antihero.

If the outbreak had been a movie, this would have been the scene where the heroine mobilizes an all-star squad of specialists to save the planet.

These new fiction releases are oddly compatible tales of gritty heroines on long-haul journeys in a natural world on the brink of destruction.

Even though victims groups see Haselberg as a heroine , she feels she could have done more.

Presumably, while our formerly sad animated heroine picks daisies in her garden (and it is almost always hers, not his).

The 30-something heroine glamorized the metropolis and its coveted name brands, Arora says.

The artist Mike Denison has set himself a challenge: to draw one picture a day for an entire year of his heroine Bea Arthur.

Mischievous and spirited, she was a heroine for generations of young girls who read and idolized her.

Besides, when he hears it's for that real heroine of a kidnapping story everybody was talking about, he'll be willing enough.

Mistral enumerates eight dramatic works treating the life of his heroine .

But the reward for virtue, which frequently fails to make its appearance, waited upon our heroine .

Who then can wonder that our young heroine should begin to think herself of more consequence than she really was?

The little girl heroine adds another to the list of favorites so well known to the young people.

British Dictionary definitions for heroine

/ ( ˈhɛrəʊɪn ) /

a woman possessing heroic qualities

a woman idealized for possessing superior qualities

the main female character in a novel, play, film, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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Heroine in british english, examples of 'heroine' in a sentence heroine, related word partners heroine, trends of heroine.

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Definition of heroine noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • the heroines of the revolution
  • She remains one of the unsung heroines of the Second World War.

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Look up any word in the dictionary offline, anytime, anywhere with the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary app.

literature heroine definition


literature heroine definition

Protagonist Definition

What is a protagonist? Here’s a quick and simple definition:

The protagonist of a story is its main character, who has the sympathy and support of the audience. This character tends to be involved in or affected by most of the choices or conflicts that arise in the narrative. For example, Snow White is the protagonist of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs .

Some additional key details about protagonists:

  • A protagonist can be present in any form of art that contains characters and a story: novels, films, poems, dramas, operas, etc. Most stories contain one protagonist. However, if a narrative contains a subplot or several different stories, it's possible for each story to contain its own protagonist.
  • Protagonists aren't always "good"—many are dishonest or even criminal—but they always have the sympathy and support of the audience.
  • The opposite of the protagonist is the antagonist : a character that opposes or thwarts the main character. Not all stories that have protagonists also have antagonists.

Protagonist Pronunciation

Here's how to pronounce protagonist: pro- tag -uh-nist

The Evolution of Protagonist

The term protagonist originally referred to the character who engaged with the chorus in Ancient Greek tragedies (the chorus is a group of actors who recite their lines in unison and represent "the masses," or the general public). However, the definition expanded over time. Sophocles was one of the first Ancient Greek playwrights to put more than two characters on stage, and thus further expanded the definition, bringing its meaning closer to our modern definition: the main character among many characters who appear within a story.

Types of Protagonist

Most protagonists fit into one of the following four protagonist types: heroes, antiheroes, villain protagonists, and supporting protagonists.

  • Hero/Heroine: A hero or heroine (that is, a female hero) is a character in a literary work who overcomes a profound struggle or conflict to achieve some sort of success because of their own perseverance, bravery, or intelligence. Heroes often have to make sacrifices along the way, always for the greater good and not for personal gain. In contemporary literary works that aim for realism, it's common to find heroes with more complicated personalities, or heroes who aren't "perfect," as the heroes of classical literature often seem to be. Sometimes people use the terms "hero" and "protagonist" interchangeably, but this isn't correct. A hero is just one type of protagonist. Not all protagonists are heroes.
  • Antihero/Antiheroine: An antihero is a type of protagonist that might lack the qualities found in archetypal heroes. Unlike contemporary heroes, who might have a few flaws in order to seem realistic, the antihero is distinctly unlike the hero in that they are often revealed not to have moral or particularly noble intentions. They tend to act on behalf of their own self-interest, but they aren't wholly corrupt or immoral, like a villain.
  • Villain Protagonist: Unlike the hero and antihero protagonists, the villain is unequivocally the "bad guy," devoted to evildoing. Often a story's villain is the antagonist (the character working against the protagonist); however, villains can also be protagonists when they are the main character driving the story forward and have the audience's sympathy.
  • Supporting Protagonist: A supporting protagonist is less common than the other types of protagonists. When a supporting protagonist does appear, it's often when a story is told from the perspective of a seemingly minor character in the story. There may be a character in the story who seems more important or who experiences more of the "main action," but the supporting protagonist's otherwise minor role in the story becomes more important because the story is told from their perspective.

How to Identify the Protagonist of a Story

It's often relatively simple to identify the protagonist. But in some stories it can be more difficult, particularly if a narrative is complicated by multiple sub-plots or contains many characters with important roles. Some of the most common situations that can make it a bit more complicated to identify the protagonist of a story are:

  • The protagonist doesn't get the most "time on stage": In this situation, another important character appears more often in the narrative, but that character is still not the focus of the audience's sympathy. For instance, in Sophocles' tragedy Antigone , the king (Creon) decides to punish a man who died fighting on the losing side of a civil war by leaving him unburied in a public place, which would mean that his body would not be sanctified by the gods. The man's sister, Antigone, defies Creon and buries her brother anyway, so Creon orders her to be placed in a tomb and buried alive. While in the tomb, Antigone hangs herself, and the rest of the play focuses on the aftermath of her death, which inspires multiple other suicides. Creon is ultimately on stage for far more of the play than Antigone. However, it is Antigone whose actions seem righteous wins the audience's sympathy, and whose death (as well as the deaths it causes) makes the play a tragedy, so Antigone would be the obvious protagonist here. Another clue, of course, is that the play is titled after her.
  • Multiple protagonists: While most stories will only have one protagonist, it's possible for stories to contain more than one—particularly when multiple subplots are woven into one larger narrative. For instance, Tolstoy's novel War and Peace chronicles the history of the French invasion of Russia in 1812 through the narratives of five different families, with fifteen major characters, who receive approximately equal attention. In part because of this lack of a single protagonist, Tolstoy maintained that War and Peace was not actually a novel. It's not a book about one story or one person's life, like a traditional novel—rather, it's a book about war and peace. While War and Peace is an extreme example, it is possible for other books to contain a few protagonists from a few different subplots (and to still qualify as novels).
  • False Protagonists: A "false" protagonist is a technique in which an author introduces a character who seems to be the protagonist but is later revealed to not be. For instance, the horror film Arachnophobia opens by following a nature photographer through the Amazon rainforest. The photographer appears to be the story's protagonist, but only 10 minutes into the film, a spider crawls into his sleeping bag and bites and kills him. The photographer's body is shipped back to the US for burial with the spider still in the coffin. Upon arrival, the spider finds its way into the barn of a man named Ross Jennings, who becomes the film's protagonist, since it's his predicament (a barn full of deadly spiders) that drives the story forward. By the time the film ends, the audience has completely forgotten about the false protagonist (the photographer), but the jolt given by the death of that seeming protagonist sets up the thrilling suspense that fills the rest of the movie.

Protagonist vs. Antagonist

In order to better understand what makes a character a protagonist, it's helpful to also understand its opposite: antagonist. The antagonist is most often the protagonist's opponent in the story—such as a villain in a superhero movie, or the high school bully in an 80s teen movie.

The Protagonist and Antagonist in Stephen King's Misery

In Stephen King's Misery , a writer named Paul crashes his car on his way to Los Angeles, shattering both of his legs. He's found by a woman, Annie, who takes him to her house to nurse him back to health. Annie reveals herself to be one of Paul's biggest fans, and it gradually becomes clear that she's mentally disturbed and dangerous. Paul tries to escape a few times, but Annie always catches him and punishes him brutally (cutting off a finger and a foot). Annie is the book's antagonist.

King writes an extensive backstory on Annie, so her motivations are clear and her character isn't entirely impossible to relate to—and indeed, some readers might even pity her. In a way, she could be said to be the most multi-dimensional character in the book, but she still is not the protagonist. Paul is the novel's protagonist because its plot hinges on his fate, and the question of whether or not he will make it out alive. In other words, Paul is trying to carry out a series actions to move the plot forward (drive to LA, recover from his injuries, escape from the deranged Annie), while Annie is trying to stop Paul (with imprisonment, torture, threats), making her the antagonist.

Protagonist Examples

Nearly every story has a protagonist, so there are countless examples to choose from. Below we've provided an example of each of the four main protagonist types: heroes, antiheroes, villain protagonists, and supporting protagonists.

Example of a Hero Protagonist in Beowulf

The epic poem Beowulf is one of the oldest surviving pieces of literature in the English language and its protagonist is an example of a traditional epic hero: he is relentlessly strong, brave, and just. The poem tells the story of Beowulf's bravery in battle against a monster named Grendel, who threatens to destroy the Danes. Later, Beowulf also risks his life to slay Grendel's mother, as well as a fire-breathing dragon. He sustains a fatal injury while fighting the dragon, but doesn't die until he has claimed victory and ensured the people's safety. The story closely follows Beowulf and his strength in battle, only mentioning others as necessary to better tell Beowulf's story, so there is no doubt Beowulf is the protagonist.

Example of an Antihero Protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye

In J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye , a teenage boy, Holden Caulfield, has been expelled from multiple boarding schools and seems on the verge of being expelled from his current one. The novel follows the lonely, angry Holden as he abandons his school and wanders around New York City and searches for some form of companionship or comfort. Holden isn't a courageous character (he admits to being "yellow," or cowardly), nor is he honest (he perpetually lies), or strong (he admits to being weak). He's not terribly moral (he hires a prostitute) or tough (he ends up getting beaten up by her pimp). Holden dreams of being a hero—a "catcher in the rye," who saves kids from danger—but even that dream is based on him misunderstanding a classic poem. Put all together, Holden lacks the traditional attributes of a hero and is instead a teenage antihero. Nonetheless, Holden holds the audience's sympathy throughout the book (and many teenagers identify with him precisely because he is an antihero) and drives the plot, and is therefore the protagonist.

Example of a Villain Protagonist in Despicable Me

The protagonist in the animated film Despicable Me is Gru, a self-described villain. The plot hinges on Gru discovering that another villain is planning to steal the Great Pyramids of Giza, which makes Gru jealous, so he tries to thwart his rival's plan and pull off an even bigger evil plot (stealing the moon). Along the way, Gru does seemingly kind things (he adopts three orphaned girls, for instance), but always for the sole purpose of achieving his villainous goals (he thinks they can help him break into his rival's compound). While Gru does grow and change over the course of the story (he comes to love the girls he initially adopts and saves them from his rival), he never actually gives up being a villain. Still, Gru always has the sympathy of the audience and his actions and desires drive the story forward.

Example of a Supporting Protagonist in Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant private detective with astonishing powers of deductive reasoning. But Doyle's stories about him are narrated not by Holmes, but rather by Holmes' "sidekick," Dr. Watson. Watson, then, acts as a supporting protagonist in these stories. It's through Dr. Watson's voice and perspective that the audience is told Holmes' life story. Even though the stories follow the actions of Holmes, the fact that Dr. Watson is delivering this narrative makes him as essential to the story as Holmes himself. He is a supporting protagonist because he is at the center of the story, even though the story isn't about him.

What's the Function of a Protagonist in Literature?

Without protagonists, most stories would seem to be lacking a plot. Protagonists are one of the key building blocks of a narrative, so the vast majority of stories have at least one. Here are a few reasons why protagonists are so important to stories:

  • When a story has one central figure for an audience to follow, the story feels more cohesive. This character tends to tie together all of the story's elements.
  • A protagonist tends to make a story more compelling, as the protagonist is the character that the audience relates to and cheers on through conflict of the plot.
  • Because the story revolves around the protagonist, it's usually through this character that the audience discovers the story's central themes. The protagonist might be the champion of a particular cause or idea, or they might experience a realization that becomes the main subject and focus of the story.

Other Helpful Protagonist Resources

  • The Wikipedia Page for Protagonist : A helpful overview, with a few helpful examples.
  • The Dictionary Definition for Protagonist : A basic definition that's very light on examples.
  • Why Your Protagonist Might Not Be Your Hero : This short video explains why all protagonists are not heroes.
  • A Villain Protagonist in Action: Gru explains his plan to pull off the "true crime of the century" to his minions.

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The meaning of the term heroine is relatively self-evident, simply being a conjugation of the term hero into a feminine form. The term, though, may have relatively recent origins, due to the historical fact that until the time of modernism, most literary works have tended to focus on male protagonists. As such, the term heroine would not have become a meaningful one until it became common for women to be protagonists.  

What is a heroine?

You have probably come across the word heroine a lot of times. But if you have ever tried to give it a precise definition, you have probably run into some difficulties. At the most basic level, a heroine can just be defined as a "girl hero". The word heroine is related to the word hero in the same way that the word waitress is related to the word waiter. 

A hero is a male main character of a narrative who has admirable qualities, and who is expected to evoke the reader's sympathy. So, a heroine is the same kind of character, except that she is female in gender.     

Usage examples

Here are some examples of the literary term heroine being used in real sentences. 

"The young adult novel features a passionate heroine as the lead character; this will surely appeal to girls in the high school age range." 

"Through her disregard for gender norms, the heroine of the play helped young women realize that they had far more potential than they had previously believed." 

"It was interesting to see the heroine of the movie fulfill a social role that has historically been reserved for men." 

If you are still unclear about the meaning of the term heroine, here are a couple rules for the purposes of clarification. 

1. Sometimes, heroine is used to refer not just to a specific kind of female character type but just to any female lead character in a narrative. This is probably because historically, it has been relatively rare for stories to have female lead character—with the result that any such character may automatically qualify as a heroine. Examining the roles and evolution of heroines in literation is a popular subject in dissertation writing .

2. In fact, the term hero is also sometimes used to just refer to any male lead character. But this may be more common for the term heroine than for the term hero. This is probably because the term hero reaches further back into history and has connotations that the term heroine may not. 

Historical context of heroines

It seems that the word "heroine" has only existed in the English language since the year 1650. This is because historically, most narratives have tended to focus on men (because of gender roles and stereotypes ): for whatever social and cultural reasons, men were seen as the ones who really took meaningfully actions, and about whom heroic stories could thus be told. The concept of the hero is an ancient one. The concept of the heroine, though, seems to be tied to the beginnings of the modern era.

This is also why a heroine is more likely to just generically refer to any female lead character. It is almost as if the very fact that the woman is a lead character is itself enough to make her exemplary: it shows other women that they too have stories, just like men, and that it is possible to tell these stories. Also, the concept of the hero is connected with the old tradition of the heroic epic, where only a certain kind of man deserved to be called a hero. The concept of the heroine, though, does not necessarily come with this cultural and historical baggage.  

If you want to learn more about the historical significance of heroine, you can buy dissertations on their roles in fiction and evolution.

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Definition of Hero

As a literary device, a hero can be defined as the principal character of a literary work. The term hero has been applied, not only in the classical sense, but also in modern literature, as the principal character of a story , play or novel .

This term is also employed in another sense, for the celebrated figures in certain ancient legends , and heroic epics like Gilgamesh , the Iliad , Beowulf , or La Chanson de Roland . However, it has traveled a long way from classical heroes in Oedipus and Odysseus, to Hamlet , and then to modern heroes, such as Willy Loman. From confrontation of monsters, to mental dilemmas , a hero has transformed from an attractive prince to a common man.

Examples of Hero from Literature

Example #1: odysseus.

Odysseus is the principal character of Homer’s epic “Odyssey.” Odysseus is also known by his Latin name, Ulysses . As the king of Ithaca, Odysseus has been presented as the dominant character of the ten-year-long Trojan War, who became famous through his struggles in the war. Odysseus is well-known for his brilliance, versatility, wit , and ingenuity – so much so that the epithet “Odysseus the cunning” is used for his character. He is the best example of a larger-than-life-figure type of a classical hero.

Example #2: Beowulf

Beowulf is the hero of the epic poem of the same title from Old English. The epic consists of 3,182 alliterative lines, and is considered the oldest surviving epic in Old English literature. This long poem is supposed to have been written between the 8th and 11th centuries. As an adventurous hero from the race of Geats – who offers his help to the King of the Danes, against a monster called Grendel – Beowulf displays legendary courage , and sacrifices his men to save the king. He fought the monster until his own death; thus achieving greatness in the ancient poem, and becoming a classical hero of English literature.

Example #3: Hamlet

Hamlet is the hero of the play Hamlet , written by William Shakespeare . He is a sort of modern hero, in that he faces physical as well as psychological dilemmas. However, he is also akin to classical heroes, for he is a larger-than-life figure, and the would-be king of Denmark after his uncle, Claudius. However, he is akin to a common man, a modern hero, in that he faces the same universal dilemmas about life and death as a common man faces. That is why Hamlet has achieved so much popularity, for he represents a common man facing common problems, despite his being a prince.

Example #3: Willy Loman

A modern hero is reduced to a common man, who simultaneously suffers the “slings and arrows” of the time, and of society. It is because an ordinary man has the same life as a king has. Therefore, Arthur Miller has made Willy Loman the hero of his famous play, Death of a Salesman . Willy Loman represents a common man who could not face the pressure of the modern world, and commits suicide. The difference between Willy Loman and Hamlet is the evolution a hero goes through from a prince facing common problems, to a common man facing common problems.

Function of a Hero

A hero is the major character of a narrative . In classical sense, the hero is not only involved in dangerous adventures or wars, but also in feats and exploits of unparalleled courage and bravery. He possesses extraordinary mental faculties and physical abilities. He takes the narrative long with him to the end that is usually his victory or, in some cases, his death. However, a modern hero plays a complex role in facing mental dilemmas, as he is an ordinary man intended to bring out complex modern psychological issues faced by modern man.

This long journey of a hero from prince to common salesman has brought several changes in a narrative, turning tragedy into a tragi- comedy , and a complex modern tragedy, absurd writings, and then modern pieces. Therefore, the character of a hero in a literary piece not only brings unity in action, but also makes other characters prominent when they are compared and contrasted with him. That is why a hero is considered the central figure of a narrative or a play, and even if a hero is not present in a piece, efforts are made to create one.

Related posts:

  • Tragic Hero
  • 10 Hero Archetypes with Examples  
  • Anti-Hero Archetype

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literature heroine definition

literature heroine definition

Meaning of "heroine" in the English dictionary

Pronunciation of heroine, grammatical category of heroine, what does heroine mean in english, definition of heroine in the english dictionary.

The first definition of heroine in the dictionary is a woman possessing heroic qualities. Other definition of heroine is a woman idealized for possessing superior qualities. Heroine is also the main female character in a novel, play, film, etc.


Words that begin like heroine, words that end like heroine, synonyms and antonyms of heroine in the english dictionary of synonyms, synonyms of «heroine», words relating to «heroine», translation of «heroine» into 25 languages.

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Understatement: Definition and Examples

Hailey Spinks

An understatement is a figure of speech in which the writer intentionally downplays or minimizes the significance or intensity of a situation, often to be rhetorical or satirical or to (counterintuitively) create emphasis. Here, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details of what understatements are (and aren’t) so you know how to spot them—and how to use them.

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What is an understatement?

An understatement is a literary device used to downplay a situation as less serious, less significant, or smaller than it really is. Understatements are typically used to emphasize the very quality they downplay. When used ironically, understatements are powerful tools for humor and depth. When used unironically, understatements can be used to downplay expressions that would otherwise come off as inappropriate or immodest, such as saying “I did alright” after winning an Olympic gold medal.

When to use understatements

Reasons to use understatements might include: being humorous, emphasizing the subject at hand, or being polite.

We often use understatements to draw attention to things. We want to come across as funny by jokingly portraying things as much less than they are, or show that we’re polite by downplaying our own successes or feelings.

In writing, understatements can be used intentionally to emphasize something in an essay, poem, song, story, or script. In Romeo and Juliet , Shakespeare describes Mercutio’s stab wound as “ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch.” In this case, Shakespeare uses understatement to highlight how serious the situation has become and to break the tension through comedic relief.

Understatements rely on a common understanding of their figurative meaning, so using them in writing can show your familiarity with the language and add to your credibility as a writer. They can also make your writing more conversational.

3 understatement literary devices

Irony , “the expression of one’’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect,” is a type of understatement. You use understatement to imply “less” than what you mean, and irony when saying the opposite of what you mean.

As the hurricane approached, they noted that it was “a little breezy today.”

Litotes are intentional understatements that are used to soften an expression by using a negative to convey a positive. Litotes use a negative such as not or no in order to create the same effect as an understatement. All litotes are understatements, but not all understatements are litotes.

“Not a bad idea,” she said, after hearing the perfect solution to their problem.

A meiosis is a type of understatement often used to undermine or belittle a person, situation, object, or movement; to avoid naming the subject at hand; and for humorous effect. A meiosis specifically works as a euphemism.

He was on the team but mostly served as a benchwarmer.

Understatements should not be confused with “false statements,” which are purposely incorrect in order to mislead. Understatements should be obvious. When you understate something, you do so without the intention of lying. For example, if you were to crash your car:

  • Understatement: Nothing a little TLC can’t fix.
  • False statement: The car is still drivable.

Rather than being obviously humorous, false statements take an objective stance and come across as deceptive.

Understatement synonyms

  • Minimization
  • Trivialization
  • Underemphasize

Understatement vs. euphemism

Like understatements, euphemisms are not to be interpreted literally. Euphemisms are used to sidestep a heavy topic or uncomfortable situation, using more pleasant imagery and language to soften the conversation at hand.

Euphemisms are employed specifically around topics like politics, sex, money, and death. Instead of saying your pet died, you might say they “crossed over the rainbow bridge.” If you were using an understatement, you might say, “My pet is no longer with me.”

Both take the weight off the topic but are different. Euphemisms are used to substitute a harsher phrase with something more mild and indirect when a topic is uncomfortable. Euphemisms make language more socially acceptable and less provocative.

Understatement vs. overstatement

Whether overstating or understating something, they’re both employed for dramatic effect. Both understatements and their antonym, overstatements, are used figuratively.

Where understatements aim to make things appear smaller than they are, overstatements, also called hyperbole, make things appear much bigger, more dramatic, and more serious than they are.

Understatements downplay while overstatements exaggerate .

When using understatement to describe a flood, you might turn to humor and say, “It rained a bit last night.” If you’re using hyperbole, you’d say, “It’s an ocean out there.”

Understatement examples

  • There’s been a slight problem . (When the problem is disastrous.)
  • I’m feeling a bit under the weather. (When you have the bubonic plague.)
  • The cookie was pretty good. (When it was the best thing you’ve ever eaten.)
  • Welcome to my humble abode . (When welcoming people into your mansion.)
  • I may have made a minor mistake. (When you’re calling from jail.)

Understatement FAQs

An understatement is a figure of speech in which a situation or event is intentionally downplayed or represented as less significant, less impressive, or less serious than it actually is.

Why use an understatement?

Understatements are often used for rhetorical effect, humor, emphasis, or to create a sense of irony. They depend on the audience’s ability to recognize that the meaning is not literal.

How does understatement work in writing?

An understatement is a powerful device that can help communicate complex ideas or provoke thought and emotion by deliberately minimizing certain elements. Understatements can be used to engage readers, create a tone, embed comedic effects, or draw attention to something.

literature heroine definition

Cambridge Dictionary

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Definition of heroine – Learner’s Dictionary

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heroine noun [C] ( MAIN CHARACTER )

Heroine noun [c] ( brave woman ), translations of heroine.

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  1. Heroine Definition & Meaning

    ˈhir-, ˈhe-rə- Synonyms of heroine 1 a : a mythological or legendary woman often of divine descent having great strength or ability b : a woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities American heroines such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks remembered as the heroine of the flood 2 a

  2. Heroine Definition and Literary Examples

    The term "heroine" is used to describe a female hero in literature. It is also used to describe characters in film, television, and in real life. Throughout literary history, the role of the female hero has evolved. Traditionally, the protagonist in a novel, poem, short story, play, film, or television show has been male.

  3. Heroine Definition & Meaning

    : a woman who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities The town remembered her as the heroine of the flood and erected a statue in her honor. 2 : the chief female character in a story, play, movie, etc. a tragic heroine

  4. HEROINE definition and meaning

    (heroʊɪn ) Word forms: plural heroines 1. countable noun The heroine of a book, play, film, or story is the main female character, who usually has good qualities. The heroine is a senior TV executive. Synonyms: protagonist, leading lady, diva, prima donna More Synonyms of heroine 2. countable noun

  5. Heroine

    Definitions of heroine noun the main good female character in a work of fiction see more noun a woman possessing heroic qualities or a woman who has performed heroic deeds see more Pronunciation US /ˈhɛrəwən/ UK /ˈhɛrəʊɪn/ Cite this entry Style: MLA "Heroine." Vocabulary.com Dictionary, Vocabulary.com, https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/heroine.

  6. HEROINE Definition & Usage Examples

    noun a woman noted for courageous acts or nobility of character: Esther and other biblical heroines. 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.

  7. HEROINE definition in American English

    (ˈhɛroʊɪn ) noun 1. a girl or woman of outstanding courage, nobility, etc., or of heroic achievements 2. the central female character in a novel, play, etc., with whom the reader or audience is supposed to sympathize Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Word origin

  8. heroine noun

    /ˈherəʊɪn/ a girl or woman who is admired by many for doing something brave or good the heroines of the revolution She remains one of the unsung heroines of the Second World War. Topics Personal qualities a2 Oxford Collocations Dictionary Join us


    heroine meaning: 1. a woman who is admired for having done something very brave or having achieved something great…. Learn more.

  10. Protagonist

    A concise definition of Protagonist along with usage tips, an expanded explanation, and lots of examples. ... Hero/Heroine: A hero or heroine (that is, a female hero) is a character in a literary work who overcomes a profound struggle or conflict to achieve some sort of success because of their own perseverance, bravery, or intelligence. Heroes ...

  11. Heroine

    A hero is a male main character of a narrative who has admirable qualities, and who is expected to evoke the reader's sympathy. So, a heroine is the same kind of character, except that she is female in gender. Usage examples Here are some examples of the literary term heroine being used in real sentences.

  12. heroine

    heroine - WordReference English dictionary, questions, discussion and forums. All Free. WordReference.com | Online Language Dictionaries. ... Literature, Show Business the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc. Greek hērōí̄nē, feminine of hé̄rōs hero; see - ine 2;

  13. Heroine

    her·o·ine (hĕr′ō-ĭn) n. 1. A woman noted for courage and daring action. 2. A woman noted for special achievement in a particular field. 3. The principal female character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation. [Latin hērōīnē, hērōīna, from Greek hērōīnē, feminine of hērōs, hero; see hero .]

  14. Hero

    hero, in literature, broadly, the main character in a literary work; the term is also used in a specialized sense for any figure celebrated in the ancient legends of a people or in such early heroic epics as Gilgamesh, the Iliad, Beowulf, or La Chanson de Roland.. These legendary heroes belong to a princely class existing in an early stage of the history of a people, and they transcend ...

  15. 6 Key Traits for Writing the Contemporary Literary Heroine

    At first, our heroine comes out swinging. It seems to be the way things are done. The physical fight is temporarily effective. Female aggression has been stifled and to allow it room is intriguing. But soon on the journey, she realizes fighting fizzles, and she's looking for the substance behind it.

  16. Romantic hero

    Romantic hero. The Romantic hero is a literary archetype referring to a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and has themselves at the center of their own existence. [1] The Romantic hero is often the protagonist in a literary work, and the primary focus is on the character's thoughts rather ...

  17. Hero

    A hero is the major character of a narrative. In classical sense, the hero is not only involved in dangerous adventures or wars, but also in feats and exploits of unparalleled courage and bravery. He possesses extraordinary mental faculties and physical abilities.

  18. Hero

    In classical literature, the hero is the main or revered character in heroic epic poetry celebrated through ancient legends of a people, often striving for military conquest and living by a continually flawed personal honor code. [2] The definition of a hero has changed throughout time.


    . is a type of word the meaning of which determines reality. Nouns provide the names for all things: people, objects, sensations, feelings, etc. a woman possessing heroic qualities.a woman idealized for possessing superior qualities.the main female character in a novel, play, film, etc. ˈeɪsaɪlˌəʊɪn ˌælənˈtəʊɪn ˈæləʊɪn ˈæntɪˌhɛrəʊɪn ˈfaɪbrəʊɪn

  20. Literature

    literature, a body of written works.The name has traditionally been applied to those imaginative works of poetry and prose distinguished by the intentions of their authors and the perceived aesthetic excellence of their execution. Literature may be classified according to a variety of systems, including language, national origin, historical period, genre, and subject matter.

  21. How to pronounce HEROINE in English

    What is the definition of heroine? Browse heroic couplet heroically

  22. Understatement: Definition and Examples

    An understatement is a literary device used to downplay a situation as less serious, less significant, or smaller than it really is. Understatements are typically used to emphasize the very quality they downplay. When used ironically, understatements are powerful tools for humor and depth. When used unironically, understatements can be used to ...


    a woman who is admired for having done something very brave or having achieved something great: She is remembered as a heroine of the French Resistance. The nursery nurse who protected the children was hailed a heroine. the main female character in a book or film, who is usually good: the heroine of her latest novel

  24. heroine

    a woman who does something brave or good that people respect or admire her for (Definition of heroine from the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press) Translations of heroine in Chinese (Traditional) 女英雄, 女主角, 被崇拜的女人… See more in Chinese (Simplified) 女英雄, 女主角, 被崇拜的女人… See more in Spanish