Hubris (pron.: //), also hybris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις, means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.
The adjectival form of the noun hubris is "hubristic".
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Ancient Greek origin 
In ancient Greek, hubris referred to actions that shamed and humiliated the victim for the pleasure or gratification of the abuser. The term had a strong sexual connotation, and the shame reflected on the perpetrator as well.
Violations of the law against hubris included what might today be termed assault and battery; sexual crimes ranging from rape of women or children to consensual but improper activity, in particular anal sex with a free man or with an unconsenting and/or under-aged boy; or the theft of public or sacred property. Two well-known cases are found in the speeches of Demosthenes, a prominent statesman and orator in ancient Greece. These two examples occurred when first Midias punched Demosthenes in the face in the theatre (Against Midias), and second when (in Against Conon) a defendant allegedly assaulted a man and crowed over the victim. Yet another example of hubris appears in Aeschines Against Timarchus, where the defendant, Timarchus, is accused of breaking the law of hubris by submitting himself to prostitution and anal intercourse. Aeschines brought this suit against Timarchus to bar him from the rights of political office and his case succeeded.
In Greek literature, hubris usually refers to infractions by mortals against other mortals. Therefore, it is now generally agreed that the Greeks did not generally think of hubris as a religious matter, still less that it was normally punished by the gods.
Aristotle defined hubris as shaming the victim, not because of anything that happened to you or might happen to you, but merely for your own gratification. Hubris is not the requital of past injuries—that is revenge. As for the pleasure in hubris, its cause is this: men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater.
Crucial to this definition are the ancient Greek concepts of honour (τιμή, timē) and shame (αἰδώς, aidōs). The concept of honor included not only the exaltation of the one receiving honour, but also the shaming of the one overcome by the act of hubris. This concept of honor is akin to a zero-sum game. Rush Rehm simplifies this definition to the contemporary concept of "insolence, contempt, and excessive violence".
Modern use 
In its modern use, hubris denotes overconfident pride and arrogance; it is often associated with a lack of humility, though not always with the lack of knowledge. An accusation of hubris often implies that suffering or punishment will follow, similar to the occasional pairing of hubris and nemesis in Greek society. The proverb "pride goeth (goes) before a fall" (from the biblical Book of Proverbs, 16:18) is thought to sum up the modern use of hubris. It is also referred to as "pride that blinds", as it often causes one accused of hubris to act in foolish ways that belie common sense. In other words, the modern definition may be thought of as, "that pride that goes just before the fall". More recently, in his two-volume biography of Adolf Hitler, historian Ian Kershaw uses both 'hubris' and 'nemesis' as titles. The first volume, Hubris, describes Hitler's early life and rise to power. The second, Nemesis, gives details of Hitler's role in the Second World War, and concludes with his fall and suicide in 1945.
Examples of hubris are often found in fiction, most famously in Paradise Lost, John Milton's depiction of the biblical Lucifer. Victor in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein manifests hubris in his attempt to become a great scientist by causing life through technological means, but eventually regrets this previous desire. Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus portrays the eponymous character as a scholar whose arrogance and pride compel him to sign a deal with the Devil, and retain his haughtiness until his death and damnation, despite the fact that he could have easily repented had he chosen to do so. Annabeth Chase's fatal flaw is hubris, because she sometimes thinks she could have done things better even than the gods.
See also 
- David Cohen, "Law, society and homosexuality or hermaphrodity in Classical Athens" in Studies in ancient Greek and Roman society By Robin Osborne; p 64
- Cartledge; Paul Millett (2003). Nomos: Essays in Athenian Law, Politics and Society. Cambridge University Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-521-52209-0. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
- David Cohen, "Sexuality, Violence, and the Athenian Law of 'Hubris'"; Greece and Rome, Second Series, V.38;#2; Oct. 1991 pp. 171-188
- "Using a free male (adult or minor) in a passive role for certain kinds of sexual services (particularly oral or anal sexual intercourse) constitutes hubris". Law, violence, and community in classical Athens By David J. Cohen; p 160
- "In fact, numerous passages from Greek orators indicate that using a male in a passive sexual role dishonors him and thus qualifies as hubris". David Cohen, "Law, society and homosexuality in Classical Athens" in Studies in ancient Greek and Roman society By Robin Osborne; p. 65.
- Aeschines "Against Timarchus" from Thomas K. Hubbard's Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents
- Rhetoric. 350 B.C.E. p. 1378b.
- Kershaw, Ian (1998). Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-04671-7. OCLC 50149322.
- Kershaw, Ian (2000). Hitler 1936–1945: Nemesis. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-04994-7. OCLC 45234118.
- Cairns, Douglas L. "Hybris, Dishonour, and Thinking Big." Journal of Hellenic Studies 116 (1996) 1-32.
- Fisher, Nick (1992). Hybris: a study in the values of honour and shame in Ancient Greece. Warminster, UK: Aris & Phillips. A book-length discussion of the meaning and implications of hybristic behavior in ancient Greece.
- MacDowell, Douglas. "Hybris in Athens." Greece and Rome 23 (1976) 14-31.
- Michael DeWilde, The Psychological and Spiritual Roots of a Universal Affliction
- Hubris on 2012's Encyclopædia Britannica