ep·​i·​cure | \ ˈe-pi-ˌkyu̇r How to pronounce epicure (audio) \

Definition of epicure

1 : one with sensitive and discriminating tastes especially in food or wine
2 archaic : one devoted to sensual pleasure : sybarite

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Choose the Right Synonym for epicure

epicure, gourmet, gourmand, gastronome mean one who takes pleasure in eating and drinking. epicure implies fastidiousness and voluptuousness of taste. gourmet implies being a connoisseur in food and drink and the discriminating enjoyment of them. gourmand implies a hearty appetite for good food and drink, not without discernment, but with less than a gourmet's. gastronome implies that one has studied extensively the history and rituals of haute cuisine.

Did You Know?

The word epicure is currently associated with indulging the appetite, but that is a long way from the teachings of the man to whom we owe the word. The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus taught a philosophy of simple pleasure, friendship, and a secluded life. He believed in the pursuit of pleasure, but pleasure for him equated with tranquility and freedom from pain—not the indulgence of the senses. However, detractors of Epicurus in his own time and later reduced his notions of pleasure to material and sensual gratification. When epicure entered English in the 16th century, the philosophy of Epicurus had been trivialized, and so the word became synonymous with “hedonist.”

Examples of epicure in a Sentence

Thomas Jefferson was one of America's first great epicures.

Recent Examples on the Web

Victoria has numerous tea rooms, many geared to budget-conscious epicures like us, Charlie and Jean told us. Roy Harris Jr., latimes.com, "A road trip in the Pacific Northwest is better with a little help from our friends," 20 May 2018 Covington's cognoscente, epicures, glitterati, and connoisseurs all met at Grand Tasting 2018, part of the week-long celebration A Taste of Covington sponsored by the Covington Business Association. Ann Benoit, NOLA.com, "Taste of Covington takes guests on world tour of food and spirits," 6 May 2018 Unfortunately for New York’s epicures, DiSpirito hasn’t been in a restaurant kitchen since 2004. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Grist for the Celebrity Food Mill," 10 Aug. 2017 Although Viard exerts an inescapable charm as a wily, attractive epicure, his character’s passive-aggressive bossiness begins to feel more than a little sexist – and creepy. Ann Hornaday, The Denver Post, "Diane Lane anchors the breezy road movie/rom-com “Paris Can Wait”," 30 May 2017 His nemesis is Cottonmouth (Burl Ives), a Falstaffian villain and rugged epicure who leads a feral gang of hunters from his ramshackle backwater compound. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Wind Across the Everglades," 31 Mar. 2017 That’s the rustic gothic, popularized in the mid-20th-century by Hammer Films and Roger Corman flicks, when Peter Cushing and Vincent Price ruled as epicures of the unspeakable in isolated European mountain towns. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Terrifying’ Has Paranoia and the Feeling Something’s Wrong," 19 Mar. 2017 Michalopoulos is less known as an epicure and distiller of Old New Orleans Rum. Brett Anderson, NOLA.com, "James Michalopoulos, the artist as epicure, distiller: from the archive," 6 July 2017 There's the very pricey Epicure, with three stars, which serves dishes like macaroni stuffed with black truffle, artichoke, and duck foie gras by chef Eric Frechon, who many consider to be the best chef in the country. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "The Most Exclusive Hotel Rating You've Never Heard Of," 6 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epicure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of epicure

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for epicure


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Statistics for epicure

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for epicure

The first known use of epicure was in 1551

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English Language Learners Definition of epicure

formal : a person who appreciates fine food and drink

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More from Merriam-Webster on epicure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with epicure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for epicure

Spanish Central: Translation of epicure

Nglish: Translation of epicure for Spanish Speakers

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