gour·​mand ˈgu̇r-ˌmänd How to pronounce gourmand (audio)
ˌgu̇r-ˈmänd How to pronounce gourmand (audio)
: one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking
: one who is heartily interested in good food and drink
gourmandism noun
gourmandize intransitive verb

Did you know?

"What God has plagu'd us with this gourmaund guest?" As this exasperated question from Alexander Pope's 18th-century translation of Homer's Odyssey suggests, being a gourmand is not always a good thing. When gourmand began appearing in English texts in the 15th century, it was a decidedly bad thing, a synonym of glutton that was reserved for a greedy eater who consumed well past satiation. That negative connotation mostly remained until English speakers borrowed the similar-sounding (and much more positive) gourmet from French in the 19th century. Since then, the meaning of gourmand has softened so that although it still isn't wholly flattering, it now suggests someone who likes good food in large quantities rather than a slobbering glutton.

Choose the Right Synonym for gourmand

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.

Examples of gourmand in a Sentence

a finicky gourmand who vacationed in Europe every year simply for the wine the kind of gourmand who swallows food without even pausing to taste it
Recent Examples on the Web La Cave des Abbesses Part bottle shop, part wine bar, part pâté purveyor, La Cave des Abbesses is a gourmand’s heaven. Sophie Dodd, Travel + Leisure, 29 Nov. 2023 Cod, salmon, and haddock are the most common, along with langoustines, a favorite for most local gourmands. Claire Volkman, Vogue, 16 Nov. 2023 From these undistinguished origins arose Garner the gourmand. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 12 Nov. 2023 To top it off, the deck sports a dining area with a barbecue and pizza oven for gourmands. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 27 Oct. 2023 For adventurous gourmands such as Blue, that’s more of a blessing than a burden. Brad Japhe, Travel + Leisure, 1 Oct. 2023 Madagascan vanilla, tonka bean, brown sugar, amber, and patchouli make this a truly rich, can't-miss-it gourmand. April Long, Town & Country, 26 July 2023 Meanwhile, searches for gourmand fragrance increased by 400 percent over the last five years in the United States. Lindy Segal, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 Mar. 2023 Woodsy and gourmand lovers alike will appreciate the rich and smoky scent that evokes memories of roasting marshmallows by the fireside. Jenna Clark, Southern Living, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gourmand.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English gourmaunt, from Middle French gourmant

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gourmand was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near gourmand

Cite this Entry

“Gourmand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gourmand. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


gour·​mand ˈgu̇(ə)r-ˌmänd How to pronounce gourmand (audio)
gourmandism noun

More from Merriam-Webster on gourmand

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