February 18, 2003

Word of the Day

hubris (noun):


  • very great pride and belief in your own importance

  • Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance: “There is no safety in unlimited technological hubris” (McGeorge Bundy). ETYMOLOGY: Greek, excessive pride, wanton violence. See ud- in Appendix I.

  • the pride associated with arrogance; pride considered as sin

  • N. arrogant ambition, ultimately leading to downfall; the revenge of the gods, the ancient Greeks said, when mortals got above themselves.

  • insolence, impudence, pride, haughtiness

  • a wrong springing from insolence, an injury, affront, insult

  • mental injury and wantonness of its infliction being prominent

  • injury inflicted by the violence of a tempest

Posted by fred1st at February 18, 2003 08:13 AM | TrackBack
Comments

I think I suffer from being hubris -- including all definitions of the word.

Posted by: meg at February 18, 2003 10:06 AM

I sort of had more of a political statement to make here, but of course, I don't do politics so I'll let the dictionary do the talking.

Posted by: fredf at February 18, 2003 01:59 PM

Yeah, that M. Chirac is pretty hubristic. He missed a good opportunity to be quiet.

Posted by: Fran at February 18, 2003 06:55 PM

Funny, just a couple of months ago my mom had asked me about the definition for this word...

Posted by: Da Goddess at February 19, 2003 02:36 AM

How sublime...many points taken...very well done, Fred.

Posted by: feste at February 19, 2003 12:18 PM

it's funny how one can actually remember, for some words, the exact instant one learned it, that it entered my consciousness. so it is for me and "hubris". it was during a high school English class, during the teacher's introduction to Sophocle's Oedipus Rex, 11th grade. I'm not sure why this word entered my vocabulary with such force (which is not to say I've ever used it, in conversation or in print, for I doubt very much that I have)...I think part of it was the sound of it, which was very unusual to me, and the definition by the teacher which was something like "too much pride". Actually I think what struck me was this definition. Up till then, I had always thought of pride, or being proud, as something extremely fine, something one should be, at all times. I never considered it possible that one could have too much pride! That the teacher explained that Oedipus was brought down by his hubris, when all I could see was a poor unfortunate chap who through no fault of his own killed his father and married his mother, I think further confounded me and therefore burned this word into my consciousness.

Posted by: Kurt at February 21, 2003 02:09 PM

Maybe one should cite uses of this term (for example in Aristotle's Poetics) in Greek texts.

Posted by: Marjan Pungartnik at August 1, 2004 06:49 AM

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