1 heroine, champion, exemplar, star, superstar, idol, ideal, man of the hour, luminary, notable, celebrity; knight, paladin, warrior:
She was a hero to every aspiring woman lawyer. She expects a hero in shining armour on a white horse to sweep her off her feet
2 protagonist, (male) lead or star, leading man or actor, principal:
Gérard Depardieu plays the hero in this lavishly produced film.
He was one of the great football heroes of his day.
| real | all-time
Einstein is the all-time hero of many scientists.
She was an unsung hero of the British film industry.
| reluctant, unlikely | brave, gallant
The song remembers the brave heroes who died for their country.
| romantic, tragic
Being short and overweight, he was an unlikely romantic hero.
| square-jawed, swashbuckling
Tired of playing the square-jawed hero, he sought out more challenging roles.
| all-conquering, conquering
In his war stories he portrayed himself as the all-conquering hero. He returned home from the tournament a conquering hero.
a fallen hero trying to regain his position
James Dean was a cult hero of the fifties.
| folk, local, national, popular | fictional, legendary, mythical | eponymous
Don Quixote, the eponymous hero of the novel by Cervantes
| boyhood, childhood
Bugs Bunny was one of my childhood heroes.
| proletarian, working-class | military | celluloid | musical
In this album she pays tribute to her musical heroes.
| film, football, guitar, sporting, war
Jimi Hendrix was her guitar hero.
VERB + HERO
be hailed (as)
He was hailed as a hero after the rescue.
| become, make sb into, turn sb into
The fight to save the forest turned him into a local hero.
He died a national hero.
He was a hero to all his schoolmates.
be no hero
John was no hero?he stood back as his friends approached the two armed border guards.
| give sb/receive a hero's welcome, hero of the hour
Everyone played brilliantly, but Jones was the hero of the hour.
| (die) a hero's death
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