oe·​no·​phile | \ˈē-nə-ˌfī(-ə)l \

Definition of oenophile 

: 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

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Today, Anderson Valley is California’s most exciting emerging wine region, a magnet for the 21st century’s new class of NoCal back-to-the landers: oenophiles, foodies, and others who want to live simply but sumptuously. Jody Rosen, Smithsonian, "This Secret Corner of California Is a Paradise for Lovers of Great Food and Top-Notch Wines," 14 June 2018 Hop aboard the Hop Train for a craft beer experience worthy of Napa Valley The Napa Valley Wine Train’s restored vintage railcars have carried oenophiles along the tracks with pours aplenty for over 150 years. Sunset, "Napa’s New Beer Train is a Boozy Summer Dream," 22 Jan. 2018 The next night, Breuder, an oenophile, threw another holiday dinner, this time for top administrators; 18 people were there. Stacy St. Clair, chicagotribune.com, "College of DuPage sues former president for $25 million," 2 July 2018 Cruises on the Columbia River aboard small ships have been gaining in popularity, and many of the tours are aimed at oenophiles, with visits to the vineyards that produce many of the Pacific Northwest’s famous wines. Phil Marty, chicagotribune.com, "An adventurous cruise in the Pacific Northwest, top trips in Europe and more," 7 June 2018 But skip the oenophile versions that cost hundreds of dollars — your grad likely can’t afford the good stuff that could justify such a splurge. Liz Weston, USA TODAY, "7 gifts that help your college graduate stash more cash," 14 Apr. 2018 Though oenophiles glommed on to that news, those benefits are now also up for grabs. Alex Van Buren, Health.com, "Are Lower-Calorie Wines Actually Good for You?," 2 July 2018 There are loads of storage cubby holes to stash your clothes, and the Barefoot even comes with a small wine rack for all the camping oenophiles out there. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Retro-inspired camper combines curves with modern amenities," 18 May 2018 For oenophiles, a key question is what wines the machines contain. Elin Mccoy, chicagotribune.com, "Your next hotel room might offer wine on tap," 9 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oenophile.' 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 oenophile

1865, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oenophile

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

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The first known use of oenophile was in 1865

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