Definition of hedonism in English:


Syllabification: he·don·ism
Pronunciation: /ˈhēdnˌizəm


  • 1The pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.
    More example sentences
    • The whole point of a sports car is hedonism, the selfish pursuit of pleasure.
    • He represents bored self-indulgence and hedonism.
    • There is a critique of hedonism, or the pursuit of pleasure.
    self-indulgence, pleasure-seeking, self-gratification, lotus-eating, sybaritism; intemperance, immoderation, extravagance, luxury, high living
  • 1.1The ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.
    More example sentences
    • In the twentieth century, most of those sympathetic to utilitarianism replaced hedonism with the desire-fulfilment theory.
    • Although hedonism fails as a theory that gives us a fixed end, it does contain a methodological insight.
    • In fact hedonism, the view that pleasure is our ethical end, is always on the defensive in ancient ethics.


mid 19th century: from Greek hēdonē 'pleasure' + -ism.

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