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[ep-i-kyoo-ree-uh-niz-uh m, -kyoo r-ee-] /ˌɛp ɪ kyʊˈri əˌnɪz əm, -ˈkyʊər i-/
the philosophical system or doctrine of Epicurus, holding that the external world is a series of fortuitous combinations of atoms and that the highest good is pleasure, interpreted as freedom from disturbance or pain.
(lowercase) epicurean indulgence or habits.
Also, Epicurism
[ep-i-kyoo-riz-uh m, ep-i-kyoo r-iz-uh m] /ˈɛp ɪ kyʊˌrɪz əm, ˌɛp ɪˈkyʊər ɪz əm/ (Show IPA)
Origin of Epicureanism
First recorded in 1745-55; epicurean + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Epicureanism
Historical Examples
  • He was almost a philosopher in his Epicureanism, striving always that nothing should trouble him.

    Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
  • The passage from pantheism to Epicureanism is not a long one.

  • It can hardly be denied that as compared with the dogmas against which it reacted there is an element of truth in Epicureanism.

  • Epicureanism could have been carried no further than he had carried it.

    The New Tenant E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • But Horace's Epicureanism never goes to the length of Omar's.

    Horace and His Influence Grant Showerman
  • We too have our popular Epicureanism, which would allow the world to go on as if there were no God.

    Laws Plato
  • His weak side is his Epicureanism, with its tinge of grossness.

    Amiel's Journal Henri-Frdric Amiel
  • My Epicureanism and her iron-bound individualism would have clashed.

    The Belovd Vagabond William J. Locke
  • A strong and deep flood of serious thought and feeling was for the first time poured into the shallow channel of Epicureanism.

    The Roman Poets of the Republic William Young Sellar
  • He lacks passion, and he is never wanton; his eroticism is only Epicureanism.

    Anatole France Georg Morris Cohen Brandes
Word Origin and History for Epicureanism



1751, with reference to a philosophy; 1847 in a general sense, from epicurean + -ism. Earlier was epicurism (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Epicureanism in Culture
Epicureanism [(ep-i-kyoo-ree-uh-niz-uhm, ep-i-kyoor-ee-uh-niz-uhm)]

A form of hedonism defended by several philosophers of ancient Greece. For the Epicureans, the proper goal of action was pleasure — a long-term pleasure, marked by serenity and temperance.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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