hubris

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

Definition of hubris

: exaggerated pride or self-confidence

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Other Words from hubris

hubristic \ hyü-​ˈbri-​stik How to pronounce hubristic (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 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.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The hubris of New York politicians, especially the NYC mayor. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "Readers React to Amazon’s New York Reversal," 14 Feb. 2019 The prose is glorious — Roman history is filled with examples of hubris and mistaken purpose that are extremely relevant today. Mary Ann Gwinn, The Seattle Times, "‘1,000 Books to Read Before You Die’ author James Mustich on what did (and didn’t) make the cut," 26 Oct. 2018 Otherwise, this will all just be a costly gamble and, in the eyes of many inside and outside the sport, a whopping act of watery hubris. Luke O'brien, Town & Country, "Hot Pursuit," 1 Sep. 2013 The wreck of the Costa Concordia may spawn a different moral: Beware the hubris of those in charge who may be taking your safety for granted. Barbara S. Peterson, Popular Mechanics, "What Went Wrong on the Costa Concordia," 14 July 2014 Never underestimate the appeal of certainty—or the propensity for hubris. Frank Rose, WSJ, "‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism’ Review: The New Big Brother," 14 Jan. 2019 Critics said the imperious way in which Mr. Xi scored his constitutional coup was a foretaste of how his power could swell into dangerous hubris. Chris Buckley, New York Times, "How Xi Jinping Made His Power Grab: With Stealth, Speed and Guile," 7 Mar. 2018 This is about media, this is about politics, this is about hubris. Eric Johnson, Recode, "‘The Front Runner’ director Jason Reitman says technology has taught today’s young people how to be great filmmakers," 1 Nov. 2018 My group decided to make only terrible decisions, and we were rightly punished for our hubris. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, "The hottest new board games from Gen Con 2018," 11 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of hubris

1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hubris

Greek hybris

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Dictionary Entries near hubris

Huber

Huber Heights

Hubli-Dharwad

hubris

huchen

Huchnom

hucho

Statistics for hubris

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hubris

The first known use of hubris was in 1884

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More Definitions for hubris

hubris

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hubris

formal + literary : a great or foolish amount of pride or confidence

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Comments on hubris

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