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  1. a person who cultivates a refined taste, especially in food and wine; connoisseur.
  2. Archaic. a person dedicated to sensual enjoyment.
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Origin of epicure

1350–1400 for earlier sense; 1555–65 for def 2; Middle English Epicures, Epicureis Epicureans (plural) < Latin Epicūrēus (singular) (see epicurean)


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for epicure

Historical Examples

  • It was introduced into England as an epicure's dish in the seventeenth century.

    De Libris: Prose and Verse

    Austin Dobson

  • Kingozi's methods of eating had in them little of the epicure.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Across the top of its door were painted in gold letters, the words: "The Epicure."

    The Einstein See-Saw

    Miles John Breuer

  • I was always an epicure in the matter of love, and knew the best when I found it.

    The Golden Fountain

    Lilian Staveley

  • These are quite an epicure's dish, and care must be taken to cook them slowly.

British Dictionary definitions for epicure


  1. a person who cultivates a discriminating palate for the enjoyment of good food and drink; gourmet
  2. a person devoted to sensual pleasures
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Derived Formsepicurism, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin epicūrus, after Epicurus; see Epicurean
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for epicure


late 14c., "follower of Epicurus," from Latin Epicurus, from Greek Epicouros (341-270 B.C.E.), Athenian philosopher who taught that pleasure is the highest good and identified virtue as the greatest pleasure; the first lesson recalled, the second forgotten, and the name used pejoratively for "one who gives himself up to sensual pleasure" (1560s), especially "glutton, sybarite" (1774). Epicurus' school opposed by stoics, who first gave his name a reproachful sense. Non-pejorative meaning "one who cultivates refined taste in food and drink" is from 1580s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper