Mackay-Steven shoots Aberdeen into a 2-0 lead at Pittodrie
Gary Mackay-Steven scored a hat-trick as Aberdeen swept hapless Hibernian aside at Pittodrie.
Graeme Shinnie swept in the opening goal on 11 minutes before a series of defensive blunders allowed Mackay-Steven to net twice before half-time.
Mackay-Steven then capped a great display with a smart curling finish.
Hibs, who had been unbeaten away from home in the league since March, grabbed a late consolation when an Anthony Stokes shot deflected in off Shinnie.
Aberdeen move into second place but will be overtaken on goal difference if Rangers are victorious later on Saturday.
The visitors remain in fourth spot, now nine points adrift of the Dons, having taken just one point from a disappointing run against the Premiership's top three.
Hibs boss Neil Lennon had spoken during the week of the "outstanding" football his side had been playing, claiming their quality was second only to leaders Celtic.
Aberdeen had perhaps attracted fewer plaudits than the top flight newcomers and, after a sluggish first few minutes, set about showing why they have been Scotland's second-best team for years now.
Everything about their opening goal underlined the classiness of a group that has become comfortable in its status as Celtic's most credible challengers.
Kenny McLean fired a diagonal ball from right to left, the advancing Mackay-Steven cushioned a first-time pass into the path of Shinnie who, arriving late in the box, side-footed the ball past Ofir Marciano.
Shinnie sweeps in the opening goal in a dominant Dons display
As impressive as the goal was, Lennon must wonder why his goalkeeper hadn't simply picked the ball up in the previous attack rather than clear for a throw-in.
That wasn't the end of Hibs' poor defensive decision-making and their inability to win decisive challenges was also a major factor in their downfall.
Mackay-Steven, not noted for his grit, broke through two Hibs defenders on the edge of the box and as he stumbled, managed to get his shot away to double Aberdeen's lead via Marciano's outstretched leg and the inside of the post.
Worse was to come before half-time as Efe Ambrose dithered in possession just inside his own half.Mackay-Steven, whose confidence was soaring, nipped in, sped away and beat Marciano with a calm finish.
If the Hibs manager had demanded a second-half reaction, he was to be disappointed.
Mackay-Steven curls in his third goal in a one-sided contest
None of his big players reached anything like their potential.John McGinn and Dylan McGeouch were no match for Shinnie and McLean, who bossed the midfield battle.
But this was Mackay-Steven's day and his best performance in an Aberdeen shirt was underlined as he completed his hat-trick.
Combining with Stevie May, the winger bore into the box and, with his right foot, lashed the ball in off the far post.
It was a triumphant moment for him and a fabulous display - the best of the season - by Aberdeen, who were unfortunate to have an Andrew Considine header ruled offside.
For Hibernian, there was late consolation as Stokes' shot took a massive deflection off Shinnie, which Lewis probably should still have been able to deal with.
It was only a slight blemish on a terrific afternoon for the home side, while Hibs - regardless of some good performances - have now won just one of their past six matches....