oe·​no·​phile ˈē-nə-ˌfī(-ə)l How to pronounce oenophile (audio)
: a lover or connoisseur of wine

Did you know?

"It has become quite a common proverb that in wine there is truth," wrote the 1st-century A.D. Roman scholar, Pliny the Elder. The truth about the word wine is that it goes back to Latin vinum, but it is also a distant relative of the Greek word for wine, which is oinos. Indeed, Latin borrowed from the Greek to create a combining form that means "wine," oeno-. Modern French speakers combined oeno- with -phile (Greek for "lover of") to create oenophile before we adopted it from them in the mid-1800s. Oenophiles are sure to know oenology (now more often spelled enology) as the science of wine making and oenologist (now more often enologist) for one versed in oenology.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web La Cité du Vin One of the addresses that’s redefined the city’s physical and cultural landscape in recent years is the interactive La Cité du Vin, a sort of mecca for oenophiles. Sophie Dodd, Travel + Leisure, 9 Apr. 2023 Smuggies can’t believe someone might simply enjoy riding without demanding more in the way of infrastructure, in the same way the oenophile is amazed someone can drink wine without worrying about body and serving temperature and different varieties of grapes. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, 2 Mar. 2023 Wine lovers used to congregating with fellow oenophiles at Military Park in downtown Indianapolis won’t have to lose a step in their annual fete. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, 29 Mar. 2023 For oenophiles, stop into Prost Wine Bar & Charcuterie or visit Michigan’s oldest wine company, St. Julian Winery. Katy Spratte Joyce, Travel + Leisure, 16 Feb. 2023 Cellar Calling all oenophiles: This moody lair is an excellent place to have a wine tasting. Kelsey Mulvey, House Beautiful, 15 Feb. 2023 To top it all off, check out the impressive 5,000-bottle wine cellar with a wine tasting room that will delight any oenophile. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 20 Jan. 2023 Contrary to what oenophile ecotopians may wish, much of their preferred beverage is created ... Eric Scott Dawson, National Review, 22 Nov. 2022 Test your wine trivia knowledge with this fun board game that features questions about wine history, wine making, and all sorts of tidbits only a true oenophile would know. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 24 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History


French œnophile, from œno- (from Greek oinos wine) + -phile -phile — more at wine

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oenophile was in 1865


Dictionary Entries Near oenophile

Cite this Entry

“Oenophile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oenophile. Accessed 30 May. 2023.

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