Heroine or Heroin?

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. correct tick (Religious leader Ezra Taft Benson)
  • Most mainstream fiction is full of heroines. Female characters are great — you want to fall in love with them. correct tick (Author Iain Banks)
  • I'm a heroine addict. I need to be with women who have saved someone's life. correct tick (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. correct tick
  • Heroin was first made in 1898 by the Bayer Company in Germany. It was originally used as a cough medicine and a painkiller. correct tick

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
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.