[ep-i-kyoo-ree-uh-niz-uh m, -kyoo r-ee-]


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 Ep·i·cur·ism [ep-i-kyoo-riz-uh m, ep-i-kyoo r-iz-uh m] /ˈɛp ɪ kyʊˌrɪz əm, ˌɛp ɪˈkyʊər ɪz əm/.

Origin of Epicureanism

First recorded in 1745–55; epicurean + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for epicureanism

indulgence, enjoyment, debauchery, gratification, pleasure

Examples from the Web for epicureanism

Historical Examples of epicureanism

  • In modern times, as will be seen, Epicureanism has enjoyed a revival.

  • We too have our popular Epicureanism, which would allow the world to go on as if there were no God.



  • The passage from pantheism to epicureanism is not a long one.

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

    The New Tenant

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • My Epicureanism and her iron-bound individualism would have clashed.

    The Belovd Vagabond

    William J. Locke

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

epicureanism in Culture


[(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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.