Word Origin & History
late 14c., ”follower of Epicurus,”
from L. Epicurus, from Greek Epicouros (341-270 B.C.E.), Athenian philosopher who taught that
pleasure is the highest good and identified virtue as
the greatest pleasure; the first lesson recalled, the
second forgotten, and the name used pejoratively
for ”one who gives himself up to sensual pleasure"
(1640s), especially ”glutton, sybarite” (1774).
Epicurus’ school opposed by stoics, who first gave
his name a reproachful sense.