SKIP TO CONTENT

antihero

An antihero is the main character of a story, but one who doesn't act like a typical hero. Antiheroes are often a little villainous.

Traditionally, the protagonist — main character and focus — of a story has been a hero: someone good, noble, and brave. However, some stories change things up by having an antihero instead. An antihero may not be heroic at all. TV shows have featured antiheroes who are mobsters, drug dealers, crooked cops, and even serial killers. An antihero is kind of like a villain, or a mix of a hero and a villain. Antiheroes are complex characters, which is why they’re popular.

Definitions of antihero
  1. noun
    a protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would make him a hero (or her a heroine)
    see moresee less
    type of:
    agonist, protagonist
    the principal character in a work of fiction
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week