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 ancient god invoked here is Prometheus, and the tragic flaw Burtynsky documents is that of hubris. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Edward Burtynsky photos at Cleveland Museum of Art document mankind’s troubled relationship with water," 23 June 2019 This hubris is the root cause of the dire problems now facing our seas. CNN, "We're failing the world's oceans. Businesses can help save them," 14 June 2019 In Bauer, Brooker created a clear embodiment of all Silicon Valley’s idealistic, hopeful futurism, waylaid by a culture of excess and personal hubris. Aja Romano, Vox, "“Smithereens” takes aim at the tech dystopia we already live in but has nothing new to say.," 5 June 2019 Only the top job is capacious enough for his vision, a display of hubris seemingly at odds with his belief in humility as an essential component of effective leadership. Ben Fountain, The New York Review of Books, "O Billionaires!," 23 May 2019 Those nations that remain should have seen enough to know the dangers of hubris, though. Rory Smith, New York Times, "This Is When the World Cup Surprises End. Usually.," 29 June 2018 The tragedy of his end, along with the legend of his life, effectively covered up his horrors and hubris. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Hemingway’s Last Girl," 12 July 2018 Back then Sandoval was a two-time All-Star third baseman with a World Series MVP trophy on his resume and hubris built by constant adulation and repeated success. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Prodigal Panda: Pablo Sandoval enjoying renaissance with Giants," 29 June 2018 Hanging out with Johnny Depp sounds like either a horror show or absolutely amazing, depending on your tolerance for – well, for anything and everything: drugs, wine, hubris and self-delusion. Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal, "Johnny Depp's interview with Rolling Stone is outrageous, depressing," 22 June 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

5 Jul 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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