Definition of hubris
: exaggerated pride or self-confidence
hubristicplay \hyü-ˈbri-stik\ adjective
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Examples of hubris in a Sentence
When conceived it was a project of almost unimaginable boldness and foolhardiness, requiring great bravura, risking great hubris. —Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman, 1998
If you were born Somewhere, hubris would come easy. But if you are Nowhere's child, hubris is an import, pride a thing you decide to acquire. —Sarah Vowell, GQ, May 1998
… our belief in democracy regardless of local conditions amounts to cultural hubris. —Robert D. Kaplan, Atlantic, December 1997
His failure was brought on by his hubris.
Recent Examples of hubris from the Web
The play represented the Warriors' central flaw, an unshakable belief in their immense talent that could too easily bleed into hubris.
His hubris would be tragic if his overestimation of his own abilities were not so farcical.
The unwillingness of the government to acknowledge this suggests, at best, hubris and naivete; at worst, a dark and fearful future.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hubris'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Hubris Comes From Ancient Greece
English picked up both the concept of hubris and the term for that particular brand of cockiness from the ancient Greeks, who considered hubris a dangerous character flaw capable of provoking the wrath of the gods. In classical Greek tragedy, hubris was often a fatal shortcoming that brought about the fall of the tragic hero. Typically, overconfidence led the hero to attempt to overstep the boundaries of human limitations and assume a godlike status, and the gods inevitably humbled the offender with a sharp reminder of his or her mortality.
Did You Know?
To the Greeks, hubris referred to extreme pride, especially pride and ambition so great that they offend the gods and lead to one's downfall. Hubris was a character flaw often seen in the heroes of classical Greek tragedy, including Oedipus and Achilles. The familiar old saying "Pride goeth before a fall" is basically talking about hubris.
Origin and Etymology of hubris
First Known Use: 1884
HUBRIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hubris for English Language Learners
: a great or foolish amount of pride or confidence
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