Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, especially to the enjoyment of good food and comfort.
  • adj. Suited to the tastes of an epicure: an epicurean repast.
  • adj. Of or relating to Epicurus or Epicureanism.
  • n. A devotee to sensuous and luxurious living; an epicure.
  • n. A follower of Epicurus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. pursuing pleasure, especially in reference to food or comfort
  • adj. devoted to luxurious living
  • n. one who is devoted to pleasure

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to Epicurus, or following his philosophy.
  • adj. Given to luxury; adapted to luxurious tastes; luxurious; pertaining to good eating.
  • n. A follower or Epicurus.
  • n. One given to epicurean indulgence.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of, pertaining to, or founded by Epicurus, the Greek philosopher; relating to the doctrines of Epicurus.
  • [cap. or lowercase] Devoted to the pursuit of pleasure as the chief good.
  • [lowercase] Given to luxury or indulgence in sensual pleasures; of luxurious tastes or habits, especially in eating and drinking; fond of good living.
  • [lowercase] Contributing to the pleasures of the table; fit for an epicure.
  • n. A follower of Epicurus, the great sensualistic philosopher of antiquity (341-270 b. c.), who founded a school at Athens about 307 b. c.
  • n. [cap. or lowercase] A votary of pleasure, or one who pursues the pleasures of sense as the chief good; one who is fond of good living; a person of luxurious tastes, especially in eating and drinking; a gourmet; an epicure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of Epicurus or epicureanism
  • adj. devoted to pleasure
  • n. a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)
  • adj. displaying luxury and furnishing gratification to the senses

Etymologies

Middle English Epicurien, from Epicure; see epicure.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Epicurean ("follower of Epicureanism"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Lord A---- has tasted all the _nouveaux plats à la mode_, for at Paris new dishes are as frequently invented as new bonnets or caps; and the proficiency in the culinary art which he has acquired will render him an oracle at his clubs, until the more recent arrival of some other epicurean from the French capital deposes his brief sovereignty.

    The Idler in France

  • Certainly that remarkable man was an "epicurean" -- but one, to quote Meredith, "whom Epicurus would have scourged out of his garden"; and the statement made by the critic in question that _The Renaissance_ is the book referred to in _The

    Vanishing Roads and Other Essays

  • With that shadow of the epicurean which is apt to be found upon all civilised hearts, she felt that it did her good to realise how nice he was, just as a fresh flower or a strong wind would have done her good.

    What Necessity Knows

  • Although the term "epicurean" has come to describe a person devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, Epicurus was wise and moderate and condemned man's destructive passion for political climbing.

    Kathimerini English Edition : Print Edition : 30/6/09

  • Among them, too, I found a great deal of superstition mixed with the Christian truths; but the difference was that the superstitions of the believers of our circle were quite unnecessary to them and were not in conformity with their lives, being merely a kind of epicurean diversion; but the superstitions of the believers among the labouring masses conformed so with their lives that it was impossible to imagine them to oneself without those superstitions, which were a necessary condition of their life. the whole life of believers in our circle was a contradiction of their faith, but the whole life of the working-folk believers was a confirmation of the meaning of life which their faith gave them.

    A Confession

  • He had, when young for English public life, attained to high office; but -- partly from a great distaste to the drudgery of administration; partly from a pride of temperament, which unfitted him for the subordination that a Cabinet owes to its chief; partly, also, from a not uncommon kind of epicurean philosophy, at once joyous and cynical, which sought the pleasures of life and held very cheap its honours -- he had obstinately declined to re-enter office, and only spoke on rare occasions.

    Kenelm Chillingly — Volume 04

  • Miss or Mrs.) is being remarkably patient with his five-thumbed student, as yet again, I produce something that more resembles a slug dozing on a rice mattress, than the kind of epicurean masterpiece customers -- and celebrities -- pay top dollar for.

    Rolling Sushi With Nobu

  • Yes, this is the new face of chain restaurants: individual concepts, adapted to specific locales and audiences, with none of the anonymous mediocrity that made "chain" a dirty word in epicurean circles.

    Neil Zevnik: A New Paradigm? Now Serving: A Nice Dose of Healthy and a Healthy Dose of Nice

  • Walking past a traiteur caterer I couldn't miss the beautifully displayed epicurean delights.

    Magda Abu-Fadil: "Bezaubern" Zurich on a Short Business Trip

  • The world-renowned cuisine is an epicurean couple's dream.

    Laurie Arons: Sky's the Limit -- Finding a Locale for Destination Weddings

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