Definitions

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

  • n. A woman noted for courage and daring action.
  • n. A woman noted for special achievement in a particular field.
  • n. The principal female character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation. See Usage Note at hero.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A female hero
  • n. A female lead character

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A woman of an heroic spirit.
  • n. The principal female person who figures in a remarkable action, or as the subject of a poem or story.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A female hero; a heroic woman.
  • n. The principal female character in a poem, play, story, or romance, or the woman who plays the most important part.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the main good female character in a work of fiction
  • n. a woman possessing heroic qualities or a woman who has performed heroic deeds

Etymologies

Latin hērōīnē, hērōīna, from Greek hērōinē, feminine of hērōs, hero; see hero.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Via Latin Latin heroina from late Ancient Greek (2nd century) ἡρωΐνη (hêrôḯnê), a feminine equivalent of ἥρως (hếrôs, "hero") "hero, demigod". English from 1650. The sense of "female lead character" is from 1715. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The uncomplicated story line will still fascinate readers due to the resoluteness of the title heroine as she fearlessly sets forth on adventures that change a world though all she wants is to leave as she knows what she wants and risks all to achieve it.

    Green-Jay Lake « The Merry Genre Go Round Reviews

  • The main heroine is Konata Izumi, an athletic and intelligent girl who, despite these attributes, is not in a sports club, and has low grades.

    Lucky Star meets Cowboy Bebop » Fanboy.com

  • Uliana Lopatkina is radiantly regal as the title heroine and Danila Korsuntsev is her dashing swain of a cavalier in 'Raymonda.'

    A Close Up View of the Kirov

  • In the original, the title heroine is a sweet-natured, country lass with a dotingly protective mother, a passion for dance and a dangerously susceptible heart.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • In the pilot, the title heroine has gone rogue, so a new Nikita is being trained to replace her.

    B&C - Advertising News

  • Early reports listed the title heroine's name as "Maddy", a supposedly underclass name that has been changed, under protest to the crystalline "Tiana."

    open Democracy News Analysis - Comments

  • Silkwood as the title heroine who becomes a reluctant whistleblower at an unsafe nuclear plant.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • A clear forerunner to Ghibli's later works, this story chronicles the title heroine's efforts to preserve a polluted forest and stop the petty wars that threaten to destroy both it and humanity's chances for survival.

    Toon Zone News

  • I like that fact that the heroine is actually plain normal and the hero likes her just the way she is.

    Angels' Blood Countdown: Kimberly Frost - Would Be Witch

  • The hero suffers under his battlefield injury and the heroine is a orphan who do not want to end as a old spinster.

    Friday Book Club

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