• epicure •
Pronunciation: e-pê-kyur • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: A person with discriminating taste, especially in food or wine.
Notes: Careful of the various near synonyms of this good word. A gourmet is a connoisseur in food and drink while a gourmand exhibits tastes more like those of a glutton. An epicure is someone who genuinely appreciates well-prepared food and drink. So, what is a gastronome, you ask. A gastronome is someone who studies cuisine, though, like the epicure, a gastronome also enjoys it very much. The adjective derived from this good word is epicurean [e-pê-kyur-i-ên].
In Play: Epicures are generally associated with food and drink, "Emmanuel's epicurean tastes keep him away from fast-food restaurants." However, the only fundamental qualification for an epicure is enjoyment, so we can easily put this word in play like this: "Jack is an epicure of office gossip." The all-new Alpha Dictionary website is designed for epicures of words; we hope you enjoy it.
Word History: This good word is a commonization (change of a proper noun to a common noun) of the name of the Greek philosopher, Epicurus (341-270 B.C.), who taught that pleasure was the ultimate goal of life. Another way of putting it would be to say that the eponym of epicure is Epicurus. An eponym is the name of a person that gave rise to a new word.