hu·​bris | \ ˈhyü-brəs How to pronounce hubris (audio) \

Definition of hubris

: exaggerated pride or self-confidence

Other Words from hubris

hubristic \ hyü-​ˈbri-​stik How to pronounce hubris (audio) \ adjective

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 their mortality.

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 on the Web His hubris is predicated on a profound misunderstanding of the power of liberal democracies. Jack Devine, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2022 The end date of the Putin age is still uncertain, but against the unified resistance of the free world, his hubris and disdain for the will of his people will bring him down. Jack Devine, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2022 This is a bell-jar comedy about mankind trapped in its own hubris. Armond White, National Review, 23 Feb. 2022 That mirage of success undoubtedly fueled America's hubris in Iraq. Frida Ghitis, CNN, 15 Feb. 2022 Those who still believe in democracy must bury the hubris that caused the old world to fail. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 25 Feb. 2022 But an encounter with a gang member goes wrong, and his hubris leads him to try settling matters on the playground, a plan that backfires in a dangerous manner. Brian Lowry, CNN, 11 Feb. 2022 His hubris during the Cuban Missile Crisis put our country on the nuclear brink. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 4 Jan. 2022 The American people have seen the terrible cost of our hubris, and at least for now, want no further part of it. David Faris, The Week, 17 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of hubris

1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hubris

Greek hybris

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Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hubris.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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