Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A woman protagonist, as in a play or book, characterized by a lack of traditional heroic qualities.
  • n. A woman protagonist whose character and behavior are contrary to those of the traditional heroine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A female protagonist who proceeds in an unheroic manner, such as by criminal means, via cowardly actions, or for mercenary goals; a female antihero.

Etymologies

anti- +‎ heroine. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Her antiheroine tortures detective Archie Sheridan, carving out his spleen, cutting a heart shape into his chest and feeding him drain cleaner.

    A Female Serial Killer Takes a Breather

  • It starts as a heist movie, we're invited to root for the beautiful heroine/antiheroine who is in moral turmoil; and then - well, you know what happens next.

    MIND MELD: The Best Genre Crossovers

  • Ruby, the silly but likable antiheroine of Hilary Freeman's perceptive and fast-paced Lifted (Piccadilly Press, £6.99), comes from a more recognisable contemporary teen world, where insecurity and boredom are the sources of most ills.

    Summer reading for teenagers: darkness, danger and charity shops

  • The predatory antiheroine who steals a small fortune becomes the prey, while the meek victim of an innkeeper is revealed to be a deranged murderer.

    My Year of Flops

  • Even though she's presented as an emotionally cold person and therefore more of an antiheroine, she's relieved from being tarred with the usual misogynist brush in a few key ways.

    "On the Female Vampire," Evie Byrne Guest Post

  • Our lone female antiheroine not only falls for the student protester, but she also agrees to help him with a robbery in order to help fund an all out war on the corrupt police.

    Remembering Yasuharu Hasebe (1932-2009)

  • Hence it is hard to see why she would have wanted to play the Marquise de Merteuil, the elaborately deceitful antiheroine of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," Christopher Hampton's "Masterpiece Theatre" - style stage version of Choderlos de Laclos's 1782 epistolary novel about a pair of aristocratic immoralists who make the fatal mistake of putting their heads in a noose of their own knotting.

    On Broadway, Bright Stars and Dim Casting

  • That confession could come straight from the lips of Mavis Gary, the caustic antiheroine of "Young Adult."

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • If ever Balanchine had re-choreographed the full four-act "Swan Lake," I'd like to imagine he'd have made the scene for the antiheroine Odile like this: voluptuous, intoxicating, with the ballerina leading a female throng whose energies all grow increasingly wild around the bewildered but overwhelmed hero.

    NYT > Home Page

  • "Young Adult" -- Forget Lisbeth Salander; Mavis Gary is surely the season's spikiest antiheroine.

    StarTribune.com rss feed

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