Heroine or Heroin?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Heroine" and "Heroin"?

"Heroine" and "heroin" are easy to confuse because they sound identical (i.e., they are perfect homonyms).
  • A "heroine" is a woman admired for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
    • To be a hero or a heroine, one must give an order to oneself. (Philosopher Simone Weil)
  • "Heroin" is an addictive drug derived from morphine.
    • Russia is said to have more heroin users than any other country in the world.
heroine or heroin?


The noun "heroine" refers to a woman (often in a book, play, or film) that is admired for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. (In mythology, "heroines" are often women with superhuman qualities.)

Example sentences with "heroine":
  • Great battles can make great heroes and heroines. (Religious leader Ezra Taft Benson)
  • Most mainstream fiction is full of heroines. Female characters are great — you want to fall in love with them. (Author Iain Banks)
  • I'm a heroine addict. I need to be with women who have saved someone's life. (Comedian Mitch Hedberg)
  • (This is a play on words.)


The noun "heroin" is an analgesic (a painkiller) drug made from morphine. "Heroin" is illegal in many countries, unless it is used to treat a medical problem.

Example sentences with "heroin":
  • Many heroin users are very afraid of withdrawal. Withdrawal is one of the most common reasons why people have trouble quitting heroin.
  • Heroin was first made in 1898 by the Bayer Company in Germany. It was originally used as a cough medicine and a painkiller.

Common Terms with "Heroine" and "Heroin"

Common terms with the word "heroine":
  • heroine and hero
  • heroine of a book
  • heroine of a film
  • superheroine
Common terms with the word "heroin":
  • heroin addict
  • heroin user
  • heroin chic
  • heroin withdrawal symptoms

Ready for the Test?

Help Us Improve Grammar Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?

Find Us Quicker!

  • When using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing), you will find Grammar Monster quicker if you add #gm to your search term.
Next lesson >

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? List of easily confused words

Page URL