hu·​bris ˈhyü-brəs How to pronounce hubris (audio)
: exaggerated pride or self-confidence
hubristic adjective

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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.

Example Sentences

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 At the top is often when the hubris comes into play. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Sep. 2022 Here’s another thing Hurricane Ian and COVID-19 have in common: Both have challenged our hubris. Karen Kaplanscience And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2022 Truss and Kwarteng deservedly fell victim to their own hubris and to this treacherous environment. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 17 Oct. 2022 Not so with this throwback to the high-water mark of the hubris of the Japanese bubble economy. Brendan Mcaleer, Car and Driver, 7 Oct. 2022 While labor leaders are predicting a rosy future, celebrating the American unionized worker on Labor Day takes a lot of hubris in the face of declining numbers. Charles Selle, Chicago Tribune, 31 Aug. 2022 After marking down valuations throughout the Vision Fund’s portfolio spanning hundreds of companies, Son apologized for his hubris and over-confidence. Min Jeong Lee,, 16 Aug. 2022 Can Lalo Salamanca, this series' most terrifying monster, really die down here in the dark, a victim as much of his own hubris as of Gus' relentless quest for revenge?! Kat Rosenfield,, 12 July 2022 But many feel the retail giant has been made vulnerable by its own hubris. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, 2 Mar. 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.

Word History


Greek hybris

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hubris was in 1884


Dictionary Entries Near hubris

Cite this Entry

“Hubris.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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