Definition of Epicurean in English:

Epicurean

noun

  • 1A disciple or student of the Greek philosopher Epicurus.

    • ‘According to the Epicureans, death simply meant the end of sensation, as one's atoms came apart.’
    • ‘But then, legitimate or not, this kind of appeal to nature runs through almost all of ancient ethics: it can be traced in the moral theories of Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, and the Stoics, among others.’
    • ‘The Pyrrhonists sought the truth, even if most of the time that meant that they sought contrary arguments to dogmatic positions held by other philosophers, such as the Stoics or Epicureans.’
    • ‘In the first stage, the innate, initial impulse of a living organism, plant, or animal is self-love and not pleasure, as the rival Epicureans contend.’
    • ‘Communities of Epicureans sprang up throughout the Hellenistic world; along with Stoicism, it was one of the major philosophical schools competing for people's allegiances.’
    • ‘I've been reading the Epicureans all morning, and I'm probably wondering why nobody's come up with anything more sensible since.’
    • ‘He also defended original views in the debate between the Stoics and Epicureans on human freedom, determinism, and the truth-values of statements about the future.’
    • ‘But this is hardly a new idea, as biography was a central tool in philosophical instruction in the ancient world, obviously with the example of Socrates, but also in the various later Hellenistic schools, like the Stoics and Epicureans.’
    • ‘He argued against the Epicureans that their commitment to free will does not require the rejection of the principle of bivalence applied to propositions about the future or the postulation of an uncaused swerve among the atoms.’
    • ‘They lift the curtain on a hitherto unknown community of philosophical debate among Epicureans and with other schools.’
    • ‘The Stoics and Epicureans hold that happiness depends on detachment from vulnerable or difficult to obtain external goods and consists in a psychological state more under one's own direct control.’
    • ‘The Epicureans formed more of a closed community than other schools, and promoted a philosophy of a simple, pleasant life lived with friends.’
    • ‘Other schools of thought - the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Sceptics - dominated the philosophical stage, and the sciences developed separately from philosophy and became the domain of specialists.’
    • ‘Why is Johnson able to discuss the philosophical materialism of the Epicureans here with such dispassion and even-dare one say-good humor?’
    • ‘The view that emotions are irrational was eloquently defended by the Epicureans and Stoics.’
    • ‘He was dealing with ‘certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics’.’
    • ‘Aristotle's philosophy had fallen into neglect and disarray in the second generation after his death and remained in the shadow of the Stoics, Epicureans, and Academic skeptics throughout the Hellenistic age.’
    • ‘Anger, as Aristotle, Epicureans, and Stoics all argue, is not a mere animal reaction; it involves an attitude towards an object that is based upon certain beliefs.’
    • ‘Unlike other Hellenistic schools, such as those of Aristotle and the Stoics, the Epicureans were not greatly interested in formal logic, but they certainly needed a theory of the formation of beliefs.’
    • ‘By these three virtues we ascend to philosophize in that celestial Athens where Stoics and Peripatetics and Epicureans, by the light of eternal truth, join ranks in a single harmonious will.’
  • 2A person devoted to sensual enjoyment, especially that derived from fine food and drink.

    • ‘Ask any gourmet and he will swear by the bewitching biryani about the place being an epicurean's nirvana.’
    • ‘Does that make me an epicurean cynic or a cynical epicurean?’
    • ‘I had my food and let's face it, it wasn't the stuff of epicureans.’
    • ‘The nimble fingers of epicureans moulded vegetables into new forms and shapes.’
    • ‘With a daring, inventive Tuscan menu, it is a favorite of Florentine and foreign epicureans.’
    • ‘Many great scholars, scientists, and educators have notoriously lacked the civic virtues by being resident aliens, cosmopolitans, or epicureans.’
    • ‘Bird watchers, epicureans and natural food lovers can all take pleasure in this garden.’
    • ‘What happens in the next three hours could well be an epicurean's delight.’
    • ‘When it gets right down to it, I'm a shameless epicurean.’
    • ‘Gourmands and epicureans aren't always nice, and they're not always entirely sane, but they are always interesting - and the best of them enlightening, in a way that transcends recipes and digestion.’
    • ‘However, the real success story has been in the West Country - where towns such as Bath and Bristol have pulled in the tourists as well as local epicureans.’
    • ‘The day is not far off when chefs from 15-member-hotels of the South Indian Culinary Association will spread out a dream menu for epicureans.’
    • ‘The first is epicurean: of the 55 paintings presented, most of them are the best of what their creators made.’
    hedonist, sensualist, pleasure seeker, pleasure lover, sybarite, voluptuary
    epicure, gourmet, gastronome, connoisseur, gourmand, glutton
    bon viveur, bon vivant
    View synonyms

adjective

  • 1Relating to Epicurus or his ideas.

    ‘Epicurean philosophers’
    • ‘Are we justified, for example (we being Epicurean philosophers living in Italy) in inferring that because all the humans we have observed are mortal, so are humans in hitherto undiscovered countries, such as Britain?’
    • ‘The highest conception Caliban can achieve by natural reason is of the Quiet - an indifferent, absentee, Epicurean God.’
    • ‘The author chiefly represented in the collection is Philodemus, an Epicurean philosopher of the 1st century BC who taught Virgil, the greatest Latin poet, and probably also Horace.’
    • ‘She was, for example, one of the first to import Gassendi's revival of Epicurean atomism from France into England: unlike her counterparts, Cavendish did not feel the need to purge atomism of suspected atheism.’
    • ‘By the 1640s such challenges were being reinforced by a new wave of Epicurean science and philosophy.’
    • ‘Although Zeno's Epicurean philosophy of the desire for pleasure seems the direct opposite of the Stoic's ethic of duty, the consequences on how they lived their lives were quite similar.’
    • ‘The article on Epicurus, however, is quite valuable, since it contains some original letters of that philosopher, which comprise a summary of the Epicurean doctrines.’
    • ‘Is there any space for ideas like honour, responsibility and service in a hedonist or Epicurean philosophy?’
    • ‘One scientist first accepted the Epicurean objection to determinism, and then changed his mind.’
    • ‘One might conclude, as some did in antiquity, that Arcesilaus therefore had a hidden objective of undermining Stoic or Epicurean empiricism in favor of Platonic doctrine.’
    • ‘The Cyrenaics make fun of the Epicurean theory by saying that this state of being free of desires and pain is the condition of a corpse.’
    • ‘The best illustration of this world view - a view of thought rather than of action - was the Stoic and Epicurean therapies of the Hellenistic Age.’
    • ‘Diogenes of Oenoanda propagated Epicurean doctrines in Asia Minor, inscribing them on the wall of a Stoa in his home town.’
    • ‘A blistering attack on Lucretius' republican Epicurean poem underlies the poet's passionate Stoic hymns to the mystical order governing the multiplicity and diversity of creation.’
    • ‘The remainder of the book is devoted to a full account of Epicurean cosmology and sociology, with the poet explaining the stages of life on earth and the origin and development of civilization.’
    • ‘Here the influence of Stoic and Epicurean ethics is evident.’
    • ‘He wrote to defend the Stoic view of the universe, and in particular to defend mathematics from attacks which had been made on it by Sceptic philosophers and by Epicurean philosophers.’
    • ‘Through his vehemence he made many adversaries, particularly among the Academic and Epicurean philosophers.’
    • ‘The ‘therapeutic’ understanding of emotion which was developed by Stoic and Epicurean philosophers out of Plato and Aristotle is a striking case of this convergence of contemporary feminism with some ancient philosophical concerns.’
    • ‘The existence particularly of Christian Epicurean tracts on happiness may seem odd, even a contradiction in terms.’
  • 2Relating to or suitable for an epicure.

    ‘epicurean feasts’
    • ‘I have to admit to a certain amount of epicurean bigotry here.’
    • ‘A moment in heaven is infinitely pleasurable, so even if heaven lasts no longer than that, that moment outweighs a lifetime of Epicurean pleasures.’
    • ‘She advised that I take a stroll into the centre of town where such epicurean delights as sausage suppers lathered in curry sauce were to be had.’
    • ‘It turns out that the world abounds in ideas for one-shot Epicurean breakfasts - the wedge of pate, the smoked duck breast, the tureen of menudo, the brace of marrow bones.’
    • ‘It asserted that epicurean delights come from God, as do the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and joy.’
    • ‘To forgo the leisured lifestyle, to abstain from epicurean pleasures of over-indulgence, is no mean task.’
    • ‘Bored and whimsical, he indulges an idle, faintly epicurean interest in a beautiful boy sporting on the beach; then he is transfigured by epiphanic agony as the older man falls in love with the younger.’
    • ‘It was an extraordinary breach of European epicurean etiquette that could not be allowed to go unchallenged.’
    • ‘And in the last decade, Sweden's pioneering and inventive cuisine has placed it among the world's top epicurean destinations.’
    • ‘Unlike the stuffy, overpriced hotel restaurants of yesteryear, the new dining options can stand up to the best epicurean eateries.’
    • ‘Thanks to my dear mum my pantry and freezer is stocked with a litany of epicurean failures.’
    • ‘Take a break from gorp and beef jerky and make lunch on a day hike an epicurean feast.’
    • ‘With traditional shop-keeping, this Elgin institution has been a purveyor of fine wines, cheeses, meats, Mediterranean goodies, unusual breads and other epicurean delights for nearly a century.’
    • ‘For me, one of the most satisfying Epicurean experiences was the Bengali wedding feast - a lavish affair where everything served between the appetiser and the dessert delights the palate and all harmonise into a mouth-watering meal.’
    • ‘The International Arts Festival has only just finished when lo and behold, the Crab Festival is upon us - a day of feasting on delicious crabs claws, crab sandwiches and crabs cooked in all manner of epicurean delight.’
    • ‘But over the past decade the best chefs haven't been content to build a single epicurean temple.’
    • ‘While following this epicurean lifestyle, the people fail to nurture their inner self and land themselves in trouble.’
    • ‘Napoleon was a gourmet with several famous dishes attributed to his chef, and his countrymen spend a great deal of time and energy holing up for winter with a larder of epicurean proportions.’
    • ‘In this age of dietary obsessions and national guilt about fat, the joy of eating and the quirks of the palate are seldom discussed, a dirty little epicurean secret.’
    • ‘I don't consider one order of calamari and two glasses of water between two people in a German restaurant very epicurean.’
    gourmet, gastronomic
    hedonistic, sensualist, pleasure-seeking, self-indulgent, indulgent, libertine, sybaritic, voluptuary, lotus-eating
    View synonyms

Pronunciation:

Epicurean

/ˌɛpɪkjʊ(ə)ˈriːən/