Suppose a motorbike driver jumped above 2 cars in a show, and a crowd of girls gave him an applause. He then tried jumping over 100 cars, and lost his life halfway by falling into the row of cars.

What do you say to this state of feeling, this false self confidence that he wasn't aware of its falsehood?

  • 1
    Excitement. He got excited and killed himself:)
    – Noah
    Aug 24 '13 at 6:01
  • Good one, Thanks. Any other ... ?
    – user50408
    Aug 24 '13 at 6:03
  • 3
    Overconfidence? Aug 24 '13 at 6:04
  • This is ok but might someone have overconfidence without being praised by others. Is there any other word that carry the sudden feeling (like excitement) also the falsity and negative meaning ?
    – user50408
    Aug 24 '13 at 6:20
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA what if we're both riding the same bike but you're driving?
    – terdon
    Aug 24 '13 at 14:30

Complacency is the correct word to describe the act of the motorcyclist. Chambers defines complacent as:

  • Showing satisfaction, esp when self-satisfied, usu with insufficient regard to problems, dangers, etc

The following sentence can describe the motorist aptly.

  • The complacent motorist lost his life in a freak show of bravado.

That sounds like the definition for the word hubris:

exaggerated pride or self-confidence

  • 3
    +1, but a little more detail should be provided, including a reference to a source: (in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimately causing the transgressor's ruin (dictionary.reference.com/browse/hubris) Aug 24 '13 at 15:53

The whole situation—adulation and resulting recklessness—is probably most commonly summed up by "This went to his head." (Under what they label phrasal verbs, see "go to (one's) head," sense 2.)


I'm thinking he was "pumped" as in pumped up with confidence. Or he became reckless. His "ego was inflated by the adulation" - or was "egotistical." He became overconfident. Also, bold, or cocky, or cocksure would fit the situation.

  • 1
    Couldn't help but to laugh at ego testical
    – Noah
    Aug 24 '13 at 13:44

I would probably describe such a person as foolhardy.

Cocky or cockiness both fit pretty well. Bravado is close, too. (The already mentioned hubris is perfect, but might seem too grand a concept in some contexts.)


Normally, the word for exaggerated self-confidence is arrogance. It may not be the best choice for your specific example though, since, at least to me, arrogance is a permanent quality -- one is either arrogant or not, you don't get arrogant when a crowd of girls applauds you.


Bravado fits the situation perfectly I think.

a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate:



Jumpin four cars after successfully jumping two demonstrates self-confidence, but trying to jump one hundred goes far beyond that and could be called a


Anything that deceives the mind with a false impression; a deception; a fixed false opinion or belief with regard to objective things, esp. as a form of mental derangement OED

When he first described this stunt to me, the tale sounded insane, delusional—but to my astonishment turns out to have been real. Andrew Smith; Totally Wired

“The goal is to get from Point A to Point B as creatively as possible. So technically they are doing Parkour as long as Point A is delusion and Point B is the hospital.” C. Van Dusen; "From delusion to the hospital"

Delusion or false unshakeable belief is another kind of morbid thought process in schizophrenia. A. K. Deb; An Outline of Psychiatry

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