1. In common usage, a man or woman admired for some positively-evaluated trait or for their achievements.
2. In literary and film theory, the main male or female character in a narrative, regardless of whether their qualities are admirable. When not distinguished by admirable qualities, the term anti-hero may be applied. Usually a hero or heroine is the protagonist, but not always: as in the film Dances with Wolves (1990), where Dunbar is the hero and Stands with a Fist is the heroine, but only Dunbar is the protagonist.