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[heed-n-ist] /ˈhid n ɪst/
a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification.
Also, hedonistic. of, relating to, or characteristic of a hedonist or hedonism.
Origin of hedonist
First recorded in 1855-60; See origin at hedonism, -ist
Related forms
hedonistically, adverb
nonhedonistic, adjective
nonhedonistically, adverb
unhedonistic, adjective
unhedonistically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hedonist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Youre a hedonist, Phineas, said Doggie, after a thoughtful pause.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke
  • Then the hedonist in her revolted against that ascetic vision.

    Saint's Progress John Galsworthy
  • Thus what really occurs is precisely opposite to the hedonist's contention.

    The Complex Vision John Cowper Powys
  • The riches of wisdom consist for the hedonist in their purchase of pleasure.

    The Approach to Philosophy Ralph Barton Perry
  • She knew him to be a hedonist, a materialist, a man who had very few scruples.

    From Out the Vasty Deep Mrs. Belloc Lowndes
  • But to be a hedonist implies a certain process of reasoning, a deliberate choice of known pleasures, a rejection of known pains.

    Mortal Coils Aldous Huxley
  • He is perhaps the only perfectly frank and unmitigated "hedonist" which European literature at this hour offers.

    Suspended Judgments John Cowper Powys
  • Walter Pater's fear that the word "hedonist" would be suspected as immoral came true in Wilde's books.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • If a man chances to be a hedonist, he should show the good temper which is the best virtue of the indolent.

Word Origin and History for hedonist

1822, in reference to the Cyrenaic school of philosophy that deals with the ethics of pleasure, from Greek hedonikos "pleasurable," from hedone "pleasure," related to hedys "sweet," cognate with Latin suavis (see sweet). A hedonist is properly the follower of any ethical system in which some sort of pleasure ranks as the highest good. The Epicurian identifies this pleasure with the practice of virtue.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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