1. A hero, fabled to have been the son of jupiter and Alcmena, and celebrated for great strength, especially. For the accomplishment of his twelve great tasks or labors.

2. (Science: astronomy) a constellation in the northern hemisphere, near lyra.

(Science: zoology) hercules beetle, any species of Dynastes, an American genus of very large lamellicorn beetles, especially. D. Hercules of south America, which grows to a length of six inches. Hercules club.

(Science: botany) An ornamental tree of the west indies (Zanthoxylum Clava-Herculis), of the same genus with the prickly ash. A variety of the common gourd (Lagenaria vulgaris). Its fruit sometimes exceeds five feet in length. The angelica tree. See angelica. Hercules powder, an explosive containing nitroglycerin; used for blasting.

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