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hedonism

[heed-n-iz-uh m] /ˈhid nˌɪz əm/
noun
1.
the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good.
2.
devotion to pleasure as a way of life:
The later Roman emperors were notorious for their hedonism.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60; < Greek hēdon() pleasure + -ism
Synonyms
2. sensualism, libertinism, debauchery, dissipation, carousal.
Antonyms
2. puritanism, asceticism, abstemiousness, self-denial.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hedonism
  • Rebelling against her upbringing, Karen spends the summer in a haze of hedonism.
  • These events were pure hedonism.
  • He's not the only college student willing to trade hedonism for altruism on spring break.
  • Throughout this biography, he keeps Morris's public service and his private hedonism on separate, parallel tracks.
  • For many it conjures a superficial hedonism, sophisticated and witty but lacking spiritual depth.
  • But it generates a gentle buzz of pleasure that matches the lazy hedonism of late summer.
  • It is a masterpiece of mental hedonism, an idea that satisfies itself.
  • Most crucial is the impact of media in supporting materialism, hedonism, and unchecked consumption of scarce resources.
  • These motivational value types range from security to hedonism and from achievement to conformity.
  • The vicissitudes of hedonism and utilitarianism in this respect are well known.
British Dictionary definitions for hedonism

hedonism

/ˈhiːdəˌnɪzəm; ˈhɛd-/
noun
1.
(ethics)
  1. the doctrine that moral value can be defined in terms of pleasure See utilitarianism
  2. the doctrine that the pursuit of pleasure is the highest good
2.
the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of principle
3.
indulgence in sensual pleasures
Derived Forms
hedonic, hedonistic, adjective
hedonist, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Greek hēdonē pleasure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hedonism
n.

1856, from Greek hedone (see hedonist) + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hedonism in Culture
hedonism [(heed-n-iz-uhm)]

In ethics, the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good in life. Some hedonists, such as the Epicureans, have insisted that pleasure of the entire mind, not just pleasure of the senses, is this highest good.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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