Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


 (ăn′tē-hîr′ō, ăn′tī-)
n. pl. an·ti·he·roes
A main character in a dramatic or narrative work who is characterized by a lack of traditional heroic qualities, such as idealism or courage.

an′ti·her·o′ic (-hĭ-rō′ĭk) adj.
an′ti·her′o·ism (-hĕr′ō-ĭz′əm) n.


relating to or in the manner of an antihero
References in periodicals archive ?
How to answer to history in a moment when "anything goes" remains a fundamental question, but it's the somewhat unexpected, unsentimental, and non-nostalgic "return" to those heroics that makes Martin's own investigation prepossessing, especially freshened with the bracing antiheroic potential of Agnes Martin, Ree Morton, and Mary Heilmann, and with the grubby energy of the street.
Dark comedy often is about a central antiheroic figure who is no more than a leaf in the wind--constantly buffeted about by the world around him.
Geoff Kleem's large color photographs are as antiheroic as contemporary art gets.
The thinking here is that, just as repeated small screen appearances of "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) and "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) turned those movies into cherished classics (almost rite of passage pictures), the sudden easy availability of Dean's two most antiheroic films (at the beginning of the anti-establishment 1960s) help solidify his status as the patron saint of the misfit and the misunderstood.
In fact, McKenzie's subject in these works was her boyfriend, dressed up in Tintin costume but substituting a brooding intensity for the original character's perpetually callow mien, as if the dismal and antiheroic trajectory of modern history had finally sunk in.
Screwball comedy traded upon this antiheroic element, such as the ritualistic humiliation of the male, be it Gable's inability to make his hitchhiking techniques work, or the extremes to which Barrymore will go to raise money for a play.
The Big Red One (Samuel Fuller) Fuller's butchered swan song, lovingly reconstructed by Richard Schickel, now finds its antiheroic twin in Nicholas Ray's recently restored Bitter Victory.
The two films, both starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, showcase the genre's standard antiheroic male, rescued from a rigid lifestyle by a dominatingly free-spirited leading lady.
This is Roth in his favorite role as antiheroic thinker of everyday life--modeled, some say, after Krapp in Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, but I always think of Thomas Bernhard's deeply pessimistic philosopher-eccentrics revolved simultaneously in intense Schopenhauerian speculations and in more down-to-earth activities such as, say, cheese production.
Even the story, about an aging cowboy (Gable) in the modern antiheroic West (the wild mustangs they are tracking are to be sold to a dog-food manufacturer), aspired to the realism so central to the Actors Studio.
And unlike Beuys, whom he admired, Thek didn't construct an explicit, public mythology to animate what he left behind - only a cultish, vaguely antiheroic reputation.