• epicure •
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: A person with discriminating taste, especially in food or wine.
Notes: Be careful of the various near synonyms of this good word. A gourmet is a connoisseur of food and drink, someone who understands it, while the tastes of a gourmand are more like those of a glutton. An epicure is someone who appreciates the creativity of well-prepared food and drink. A gastronome is someone who studies cuisine, though, like the gourmet, also enjoys it very much. The adjective derived from this Good Word is epicurean [e-pÍ-kyur-i-Ín], as in a table of epicurean delights.
In Play: Epicures are generally associated with food and drink: "Biff Stroganoff's epicurean tastes keep him away from fast-food restaurants." However, the only fundamental qualification for an epicure is intelligent enjoyment of creativity, so we can easily put this word in play like this: "Sidney Couch is an epicure of office gossip; only the juiciest interests him." The alphaDictionary Good Word series is designed for word epicures. We hope you find it to your taste.
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.