The Collaborative International Dictionary
Heroism \Her"o*ism\ (?; 277), n. [F. h['e]ro["i]sme.] The qualities characteristic of a hero, as courage, bravery, fortitude, unselfishness, etc.; the display of such qualities.
Heroism is the self-devotion of genius manifesting
itself in action.
Syn: Heroism, Courage, Fortitude, Bravery, Valor, Intrepidity, Gallantry.
Usage: Courage is generic, denoting fearlessness or defiance of danger; fortitude is passive courage, the habit of bearing up nobly under trials, danger, and sufferings; bravery is courage displayed in daring acts; valor is courage in battle or other conflicts with living opponents; intrepidity is firm courage, which shrinks not amid the most appalling dangers; gallantry is adventurous courage, dashing into the thickest of the fight. Heroism may call into exercise all these modifications of courage. It is a contempt of danger, not from ignorance or inconsiderate levity, but from a noble devotion to some great cause, and a just confidence of being able to meet danger in the spirit of such a cause. Cf. Courage.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. The qualities characteristic of a hero, such as courage, bravery, fortitude, unselfishness, etc.; the display of such qualities.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
1717, from French héroisme, from heros (see hero (n.1)).
Usage examples of "heroism".
The Anzac in the campaigns at Gallipoli, the Dardanelles, and in Flanders served England with a loyalty and heroism not excelled by any other force.
Lee to grow grander and more illustrious in defeat than even in victory--grander, because in defeat he showed a spirit greater than in the heroism of battles or all the achievements of war, a spirit which crowns him with a chaplet grander far than ever mighty conqueror wore.
And then he gave an analysis of Bermudian racers and then a discussion of nautical miles and speed at sea and the medal the Coast Guard had given him for heroism on the high seas.
There was heroism in the way she brought herself under control and I turned around to see her ex-husband and my ex-friend Capers Middleton walking in with his second wife, Betsy.
He was still a rake, and what a swath he would cut through the ton with his elegant new dignity and his romantic limp to remind the feather-headed chits of his heroism.
The heroism of these war dogs is a perfect example of that devotion, earned by a kind and loving master, and I would recommend the book to anyone who loves, and admires, dogs.
Plus all the weekly moral dilemmas and double binds his even-handed bureaucratic heroism gets Captain Frank Furillo into.
Christian benevolencethe tranquil heroism of endurance, the blameless purity, the contempt of guilty fame and of honors destructive to the human race, which, had they assumed the proud name of philosophy, would have been blazoned in his brightest words, because they own religion as their principlesink into narrow asceticism.
They only forgot to observe, that, in the first ages of society, when the fiercer animals often dispute with man the possession of an unsettled country, a successful war against those savages is one of the most innocent and beneficial labors of heroism.
The inclination of modern critics to emphasize the unique aspect of Odyssean heroism at the expense and often to the exclusion of the recognizably Achillean aspects of the heroic vengeance that concludes the epic is paralleled by a tendency to find new developments on Olympus, in the nature and action of the gods, especially of Zeus.
He accinged himself to the task with his usual heroism, and having finished it to his entire satisfaction, reminded his host to order in the devil REV.
But on being made prisoner the whole pride of his spirit arose within him, and from that moment we find, in the anecdotes given by his enemies, nothing but repeated flashes of elevated and prince-like heroism.
Captain Smith was that man, and if we find him glorying in his exploits, and repeating upon single big Indians the personal prowess that distinguished him in Transylvania and in the mythical Nalbrits, we have only to transfer our sympathy from the Turks to the Sasquesahanocks if the sense of his heroism becomes oppressive.
No doubt a time will come when society, more enlightened, and therefore more reasonable, will acknowledge that noble feelings, honour, and heroism can be found in every condition of life as easily as in a class, the blood of which is not always exempt from the taint of a misalliance.
Lillian Hellman, wrote the book Scoundrel Time, describing her heroism in standing up to McCarthyism.