a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification.


Also he·don·is·tic. of, relating to, or characteristic of a hedonist or hedonism.

Origin of hedonist

First recorded in 1855–60; see origin at hedonism, -ist
Related formshe·don·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·he·do·nis·tic, adjectivenon·he·do·nis·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·he·do·nis·tic, adjectiveun·he·do·nis·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hedonist

Contemporary Examples of hedonist

Historical Examples of hedonist

  • 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

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