Heroine or Heroin?

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
What is the difference between heroine and heroin?

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. (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 denotes 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.)

  • Great battles can make great heroes and heroines. (Ezra Taft Benson)
  • Most mainstream fiction is full of heroines. Female characters are great — you want to fall in love with them. (Iain Banks)
  • I'm a heroine addict. I need to be with women who have saved someone's life. (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.

  • 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":
  • superheroine
Common terms with the word "heroin":
  • heroin addict
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

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? What are nouns? List of easily confused words