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A personification of pride.

Pride is a lofty view of one's self or one's own. Pride often manifests itself as a high opinion of one's nation (national pride), ethnicity (ethnic pride), personal appearance and abilities (vanity), or elevating oneself to the position of God by denying the need or existence of God ("Worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator," Romans 1:25). Pride is generally considered a negative attribute by most major world religions, but in some aspects or circumstances it may be considered a positive one (see Pride and Prejudice).

The opposite of pride is humility. One should be careful with the context of the word. Some forms of personal pride are considered harmful. The word is traditionally used to enumerate one of the Seven Deadly Sins although "vainglory" is more specific. A popular modern variation on Proverbs 16:18 KJV is "Pride goeth before the fall". One the other hand, one might want people, perhaps children, to have a limited form of personal pride, reflective of appropriate human dignity. Scouting and the military encourage related notions such as physical fitness, dignity, acquiring skills and pride in craftsmanship and other modes of accomplishment, in being in flawless uniform appropriate to one's rank and such. Robert E. Lee might have been proud to have graduated from West Point, remarkably without a single demerit and yet he was also said to be "beaming with pride" when his son graduated first in his class from the same in 1854.

English words

The various English synonyms for pride differentiate both great divisions of meaning as well as various subtleties of meaning. For example, pride has been defined in the Middle Ages as the "inordinate desire to excel".[1] While vainglory or vanity has been defined as the inordinate desire of appearing to excel. The English synonym for pride, hubris, is a direct adoption of an ancient Greek word into the English alphabet with the same meaning.


Judaism, using Pride in the sense of hubris or arrogance, denounces it - the phrase "Pride goes before a fall" is a paraphrase of a passage from the book of Proverbs, in the Old Testament. Many more verses of the Tanakh/Old Testament speak of Pride and arrogance. "Blessed is that man that makes the Lord his trust, and looks not to the proud, nor to those that turn aside to lies." (Psalm 40:4) "Talk no more exceeding proudly, nor let arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed." (I Sam. 2:3)


In Christianity, pride (associated with the terms vanity or arrogance) is the essentially competitive[1] and excessive belief in one's own abilities that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God; for example: "In his Pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God." (Psalm 10:4) Pride the greatest of the Seven Deadly Sins (pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust).

  • According to Sebastien Michaelis, humans are seduced by Pride by the great demon Belial, who is also known as The Lord of Arrogance.
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote that "inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin."[2] In this he followed St. Gregory.

The well-known English maxim, "Pride goes before a fall," is itself an adaptation of Proverbs 16:18.[3]


In Islam, Pride is forbidden as well. According to a narration from Muhammad, he said: "He in whose heart there is as much as an atom of arrogance will not enter paradise," and a man remarked: "A man likes his garment to be beautiful and his sandals to be beautiful." Then Muhammad replied: "God, Most High, is beautiful and likes beauty; arrogance is disdaining what is true and despising people." (Sahih Muslim).


In Buddhism, Pride is seen as illogical as no one person or thing can be better or worse than something or someone else.


In Hinduism, Ravana, an evil king who was killed by Rama, avatar of Vishnu, exhibited the sins of Pride and Lust.


In Taoism, according to the Tao Te Ching, Pride and Greed are human errors.

Atheism and pride

See also: Atheism and arrogance

One of the common and well-founded charges against atheists is their arrogance and presumptuousness.[3]

For more information, please see Atheism and arrogance

Homosexuality and pride

Homosexual activists celebrate what they call "gay pride," often shortening it to just "pride."

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Aquinas, Thomas (1274) paraphrasing Albert the Great. Summa Theologica, Part II-I, Q. 84, A. 2, ans. Translated by Fathers of the English Province. New York: Benzinger Brothers. The translated phrase Aquinas uses is pride is understood as "denoting inordinate desire to excel".
  2. Aquinas, Thomas (1274). Summa Theologica, Part II-I, Q. 77, A. 5, ans. Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York: Benzinger Brothers.