Definition of Epicurean in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘According to the Epicureans, death simply meant the end of sensation, as one's atoms came apart.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The view that emotions are irrational was eloquently defended by the Epicureans and Stoics.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Epicureans formed more of a closed community than other schools, and promoted a philosophy of a simple, pleasant life lived with friends.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was dealing with ‘certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Why is Johnson able to discuss the philosophical materialism of the Epicureans here with such dispassion and even-dare one say-good humor?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I've been reading the Epicureans all morning, and I'm probably wondering why nobody's come up with anything more sensible since.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1A person devoted to sensual enjoyment, especially that derived from fine food and drink.
      • ‘With a daring, inventive Tuscan menu, it is a favorite of Florentine and foreign epicureans.’
      • ‘I had my food and let's face it, it wasn't the stuff of 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.’
      • ‘When it gets right down to it, I'm a shameless epicurean.’
      • ‘Bird watchers, epicureans and natural food lovers can all take pleasure in this garden.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Does that make me an epicurean cynic or a cynical epicurean?’
      • ‘What happens in the next three hours could well be an epicurean's delight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The nimble fingers of epicureans moulded vegetables into new forms and shapes.’
      • ‘The first is epicurean: of the 55 paintings presented, most of them are the best of what their creators made.’
      • ‘Many great scholars, scientists, and educators have notoriously lacked the civic virtues by being resident aliens, cosmopolitans, or epicureans.’
      • ‘Ask any gourmet and he will swear by the bewitching biryani about the place being an epicurean's nirvana.’
      hedonist, sensualist, pleasure seeker, pleasure lover, sybarite, voluptuary
      epicure, gourmet, gastronome, connoisseur, gourmand, glutton
      bon viveur, bon vivant
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  • 1Of or concerning Epicurus or his ideas.

    ‘Epicurean philosophers’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Here the influence of Stoic and Epicurean ethics is evident.’
    • ‘Is there any space for ideas like honour, responsibility and service in a hedonist or Epicurean philosophy?’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘By the 1640s such challenges were being reinforced by a new wave of Epicurean science and philosophy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Through his vehemence he made many adversaries, particularly among the Academic and Epicurean philosophers.’
    • ‘The existence particularly of Christian Epicurean tracts on happiness may seem odd, even a contradiction in terms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One scientist first accepted the Epicurean objection to determinism, and then changed his mind.’
    • ‘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 highest conception Caliban can achieve by natural reason is of the Quiet - an indifferent, absentee, Epicurean God.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Diogenes of Oenoanda propagated Epicurean doctrines in Asia Minor, inscribing them on the wall of a Stoa in his home town.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1Relating to or suitable for an epicure.
      ‘epicurean feasts’
      • ‘A moment in heaven is infinitely pleasurable, so even if heaven lasts no longer than that, that moment outweighs a lifetime of Epicurean pleasures.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But over the past decade the best chefs haven't been content to build a single epicurean temple.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thanks to my dear mum my pantry and freezer is stocked with a litany of epicurean failures.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To forgo the leisured lifestyle, to abstain from epicurean pleasures of over-indulgence, is no mean task.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It asserted that epicurean delights come from God, as do the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and joy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Unlike the stuffy, overpriced hotel restaurants of yesteryear, the new dining options can stand up to the best epicurean eateries.’
      • ‘I don't consider one order of calamari and two glasses of water between two people in a German restaurant very epicurean.’
      • ‘It was an extraordinary breach of European epicurean etiquette that could not be allowed to go unchallenged.’
      • ‘Take a break from gorp and beef jerky and make lunch on a day hike an epicurean feast.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While following this epicurean lifestyle, the people fail to nurture their inner self and land themselves in trouble.’
      • ‘I have to admit to a certain amount of epicurean bigotry here.’
      • ‘And in the last decade, Sweden's pioneering and inventive cuisine has placed it among the world's top epicurean destinations.’
      gourmet, gastronomic
      hedonistic, sensualist, pleasure-seeking, self-indulgent, indulgent, libertine, sybaritic, voluptuary, lotus-eating
      View synonyms