Difference Between Idol and Hero

Is there a distinction here between a hero as well as an idol? Most people seem to believe that the terms “hero”, as well as “idol”, are interchangeable.

But the truth would be that the two are not the same. A person is referred to as a hero if he or she has performed a heroic act or done anything really excellent for society.

A person has given the moniker “idol” because he is attractive or has certain attractive characteristics.

This article will answer all of your questions about both phrases and compare them side by side for better knowledge and usage of the English language.

Idol vs Hero

The main difference between an idol and a hero is that the term “idol” refers to someone who is idolized with dedication, affection, and worship. It is given to the people who are celebrated throughout the community whereas, the title “hero” is bestowed upon a person in recognition of his bravery, chivalry, and exceptional success. The title “hero” is given to persons who have demonstrated remarkable courage and are respected for their noble characteristics and daring acts.

Idol vs Hero

The term ‘Idol’ means, a sacred image or depiction of anything that is worshipped or recognized to pass on significant power, whereas a statue is a tri-dimensional piece of art, generally portraying a human or animal, usually constructed by sculpting, carving, molding, or casting. It also symbolizes something or someone we adore and worship.

The term or rather ‘title’ Hero means an entirely different thing.

A hero (or heroine in the feminine version) is a genuine man or a main literary figure who overcomes hardship via acts of inventiveness, bravery, or courage in the face of peril and someone who takes risks for the sake of others.

Hero, like other once entirely gender-specific phrases, is frequently used to refer to any gender, whereas ‘heroine’ exclusively refers to women. The archetypal hero type of classical epics undertook such acts in order to gain fame and respect.

Comparison Table Between Idol and Hero

Parameters of ComparisonIdolHero
MeaningThe term ‘Idol’ means, a sacred image or depiction of anything that is worshipped or recognised to pass on significant power.The title “hero” is bestowed upon an individual in recognition of his bravery, nobility, and exceptional success.
EtymologyMiddle English: from Old French idole, from Latin idolum ‘image, form’ (used in ecclesiastical Latin in the sense ‘idol’).Middle English (with mythological reference): via Latin from Greek hērōs .
QualitiesTalented, loved by many, fame, celebrated or worshipped.Brave, selfless, successful, role-model, valor, strong and reliable.
ExamplesIdol of Goddess lakshmi- meaning.
According to the second meaning, it is someone adored and followed by people like pop artists and singers like Michael Jackson.
Superman (Fictional), Rama Chandra (Legend), Shubhash Chandra Bose (Historic Freedom Fighter), Spiderman (Fictional), Hercules (Epic).
SynonymsIcon, image, God, totem, graven image, etc.Champion, victor, conqueror, lionheart, warrior, paladin, etc.

What is an Idol?

A person is given the moniker “idol” since he is attractive or has certain attractive characteristics. An idol is someone who is idolized with dedication, respect, and worship.

The term “idol” can also be used to refer to a god’s divinity. Idols are venerated and housed in shrines. This term is derived from the old French word “idole,” which means “a representation of a deity as a worshiping object.”

An idol or worship image is a sentient item that is cherished or venerated for the god, human, energy, or daemon (not to be mistaken with the devil) that it contains or symbolizes in religious practices. Idols at a temple may be cleaned, clothed, and fed on a daily basis in numerous faiths, including the pagan cultures of Egypt, Greece, and Roman, as well as modern Hindus.

An idol is also something that people want to place on such a high platform that this object or this individual becomes an idol. Even a hero can become the center of a human being’s life.

As a result, the individual may even go so far as to ‘idolize’ the person or thing on the plinth as if it were a deity.

Considering the common aspects of the two meanings this word holds, an idol is someone or something which always has a positive vibe to it. It can never be negative as it emits the urge to respect, adore and worship its followers.

A person can be an idol as he/she is being celebrated as a celebrity or singer for instance. Another example can be a statue or a cult image that is worshipped by the community as a symbol of a higher pedestal and respect.

What is a Hero?

The title “hero” is bestowed upon an individual in recognition of his bravery, nobility, and exceptional success. A hero is someone who is regarded as a warrior or someone who has sacrificed his life for the sake of society.

The title of hero is bestowed to persons who have demonstrated remarkable courage and are appreciated for noble characteristics and daring exploits.

The hero is the principal or respected figure in heroic epic poetry honored via old stories of a people, generally seeking for a force of arms and abiding by a constantly faulty personal honor code in classics.

The meaning and symbolization of an epic hero have evolved over time. A hero, according to Merriam Webster, is “someone who is respected for great or daring actions or good traits.”

In early Greek Culture, a “hero” was specifically referred to as a demigod. Later, the term “hero” came to apply to those who showed bravery and a willingness to sacrifice in times of disaster and adversity.

Traditionally, the term “hero” is related to martial bravery.

“Hero” is a term derived from the Greek word “heroes,” which means “fighter, protector, protagonist, or defender.” It is also related to Hera, a deity recognized as the protector of marriages and matrimonial blessings.

Main Differences Between Idol and Hero

  1. An idol is a subjective title given to a person or a symbol whereas a hero is a recognized and objective title earned by someone.
  2. An idol is celebrated and sometimes worshipped whereas a hero is always respected and loved by all.
  3. Idol was earlier used for deities and Gods whereas the word hero was earlier used for martial courage men and women.
  4. The term Idol originated from a French word whereas the word hero is derived from a Greek word.
  5. ‘Idol’ is derived from ’idole’ whereas the word ‘hero’ originated from ’Hera’ the Greek goddess of marriage and matrimonial blessings.
Difference Between Idol and Hero


A “hero” was particularly referred to as a divinity in early Greek society.

Later, the term “hero” evolved to refer to people who demonstrated valor and a readiness to sacrifice in the face of calamity and misfortune and the term “idol”  on the other hand, is based on the ancient French word “idole,” which means “an image of a deity as an object of adoration.”

Both titles may be used interchangeably in some cases when a person has earned the status of hero and is equally worshipped and adored by a broader community.


  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/idol
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hero
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