1. a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification.


  1. Also he·don·is·tic. of, relating to, or characteristic of a hedonist or hedonism.

1866, from hedonist + -ic. The earlier adjectival form was hedonic (1650s), “of or having to do with the Cyrenaic school of philosophy;” by 1901 in psychology.


1822, in reference to the Cyrenaic school of philosophy that deals with the ethics of pleasure, from Greek hedonikos “pleasurable,” from hedone “pleasure,” related to hedys “sweet,” cognate with Latin suavis (see sweet). A hedonist is properly the follower of any ethical system in which some sort of pleasure ranks as the highest good. The Epicurian identifies this pleasure with the practice of virtue.

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