Definition of hedonism
1 : the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole or chief good in life
2 : a way of life based on or suggesting the principles of hedonism she was a perfect specimen of selfish hedonism — Donald Armstrong
hedonistplay \ˈhē-də-nist\ noun
hedonisticplay \ˌhē-də-ˈni-stik\ adjective
hedonisticallyplay \ˌhē-də-ˈni-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Examples of hedonism in a Sentence
their spring break trip to Mexico became an exercise in heedless hedonism
Recent Examples of hedonism from the Web
Here's the thing, the Grateful Dead in the public imagination, now, has become this cartoon that’s all about feeling good and hedonism and dancing bears.
And if that song’s famous shaker of salt remains lost, fans of the man and his brand of breezy, beachy hedonism still may have found their ideal escape. ‘
But for the movie star who likes to party, Ötkert and its traditional Budapest courtyard is ideal for a spot of hedonism—or at least Jude Law and Matt Damon seemed to think so.
Then, after much wine, vodka and awkward conversation, comes a fabulous eruption of runaway hedonism.
The disco era and its aura of pre-AIDS hedonism is a touchstone in Silano’s erotic world, in which Bette Midler, contestants vying for the title of Mr. Christopher Street, and a host of anonymous nudes all appear.
The show features music by Duncan Sheik and a punchy book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa that captures the novel’s over-the-top-satire and its slick, stylish sendup of late-’80s Wall Street hedonism.
Or, as Xi put it in a speech in 2013, excessive bureaucratization, hedonism, and use of public funds and position for personal advancement and pleasure.
Elsewhere the novel reads like an inquiry into the lure of nihilistic hedonism in an amoral age.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hedonism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Modern Definition of hedonism
When hedonism first appeared in English in the middle of the 19th century, it referred to the doctrines of certain schools of philosophy in ancient Greece (such as the Epicureans and Cyrenaics), who held that happiness or pleasure constituted the chief goal in life. As used today, the word frequently carries a judgmental tinge. If someone is described as living a life of hedonism, the implication is that he or she derives happiness from debauchery rather than, say, spending quality time with family or forming meaningful relationships at work. Hedonism comes from the Greek hēdonē (“pleasure”), which also provides the root of the word anhedonia (“a psychological condition characterized by inability to experience pleasure in normally pleasurable acts”).
Origin and Etymology of hedonism
Greek hēdonē pleasure; akin to Greek hēdys sweet — more at sweet
First Known Use: 1856
HEDONISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hedonism for English Language Learners
: the belief that pleasure or happiness is the most important goal in life
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