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  • Noun

hubris

HYOO-bris

Context
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Greek drama often tells the story of a man brought down by his own hubris, illustrating the idea that excessive pride comes before a fall. The authors tell us that it is human nature not to recognize one’s own hubris or flawed, enormous pride. The more power one acquires the more likely one is to fall into hubris or blind self-importance.

Quiz: Which of the following quotes expresses a negative opinion of hubris?

  • “He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.”—Buddha.
  • “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet.” –Maya Angelou.
  • “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves . . .”—Bertrand Russell.

Memory Hook
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Hub Rising "Hey everyone, do you see my cool new hubcaps? Man, these hubcaps so rock, and they are brighter than the sun rising. Because I have such awesome hubcaps, man, I'm too cool for all of you." And in such a way did Boastful Bob's hubris cost him his gorgeous wife because she was sick and tired of him bragging about his stupid hubcaps that were supposedly brighter than the rising sun.

Examples
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  • The ancient Greeks, though they never had to hit a knuckle-curve or a four-seam fastball, saw it coming 2,500 years ago. They called it hubris: overbearing pride, with fatal retribution lying in wait. —The New York Times
  • What the future will actually bring is unknown, as technology’s "hype versus promise" divide is an old story, worsened by hubris. —Los Angeles Times
  • Lack of planning, hubris, confused thinking and a complete void as to the consequences were the fatal flaws in the partition plan, writes Ms. Khan. —The Economist

Word Ingredients
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From a root word meaning “wanton violence, outrage, insolence.” If one demonstrates hubris, one’s excessive self-importance is a form of “insolence” or “outrage” upon acceptable behavior and social norms.

Word Constellation
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Hubris