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

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"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.

Examples of oenophile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the United States, Wine Spectator, the leading magazine for oenophiles, began publication. Clay Risen, New York Times, 3 June 2024 For individual oenophiles, this is technically good news: At the moment, there is a wide variety of choices at low prices. Anya Jaremko-Greenwold, The Week Us, theweek, 9 Apr. 2024 Calling all oenophiles: The Breckenridge Wine Classic is for you. Sarah Kuta, The Denver Post, 21 May 2024 What will dazzle an oenophile who has a cellar full of wine and a whole lot more money than you? Anna Lee Iijima, The Mercury News, 30 Apr. 2024 The region is famed for its prestigious wine—Brunello di Montalcino—which is made from the Sangiovese grape and draws in oenophiles from around the world to experience its complex, elegant flavors. Nicole Kliest, Vogue, 12 Mar. 2024 Additional highlights include the Solstice Deck, an onboard nightclub, and a slew of bars and lounges, including the wine-centric Cellar Masters, where oenophiles can learn about – and taste — a wide variety of vinos from across the globe. Lauren Dana Ellman, Travel + Leisure, 15 Feb. 2024 Much like oenophiles, devoted coffee drinkers are an exacting breed, with their preferences for specific coffee beans and opinions on the ideal temperature for drinking their morning brew. Juliet Izon, wsj.com, 26 Sep. 2023 The Zamorano Club, a men’s group named for the man who brought the first printing press to California, welcomed bibliophiles, oenophiles, foodies, collectors, art patrons, conversationalists, and tastemakers. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2023

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 17 Jun. 2024.

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