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Heroine or Heroin?

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

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.)

Examples:
  • 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.)

Heroin

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.

Examples:
  • 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.
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