Hedonism is a philosophical belief that pleasure and happiness are the ultimate goals of human existence and should be pursued above all else.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Epicureanism, sensualism, indulgence, pleasure-seeking, self-gratification


Asceticism, self-denial, restraint, abstinence, self-control

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun hedonists, hedonisms, hedonist, hedonism
Verb None
Adjective hedonistic, hedonic
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • Some people argue that hedonism is a selfish philosophy that can lead to a shallow and unfulfilling life.

  • The Greek philosopher Epicurus is often associated with hedonism because of his emphasis on pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

  • The hedonistic lifestyle of the wealthy elite is often criticized for its excess and lack of concern for the less fortunate.

  • The pursuit of pleasure and happiness is a central theme in many works of literature and art that explore the human condition from a hedonistic perspective.


The word hedonism is often used to describe a philosophy or lifestyle that prioritizes pleasure and happiness above other values. Hedonism is often associated with a focus on sensual or physical pleasures, such as eating, drinking, and sexual activity. However, hedonism can also encompass more intellectual or spiritual forms of pleasure, such as the enjoyment of art, music, or philosophy.

The word hedonism comes from the Greek word “hedone,” which means pleasure or delight. Hedonism is often associated with the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, who believed that the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain were the highest goals of human life. However, the term hedonism has been used to describe a wide range of philosophical and cultural movements throughout history.

There are different types of hedonism, including ethical hedonism and psychological hedonism. Ethical hedonism argues that people should pursue pleasure and happiness as a moral duty, while psychological hedonism claims that people are inherently motivated by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

The word hedonism can also be used with prefixes and suffixes to create related words. For example, the prefix “eudaimonic” can be added to create “eudaimonic hedonism,” which emphasizes the pursuit of happiness and flourishing rather than mere pleasure. The suffix “-ism” can be added to create “hedonistic,” which describes a lifestyle or philosophy that prioritizes pleasure above all else. Other related words include “sensualism,” “pleasure-seeking,” and “indulgence.”

Hedonism is a controversial concept, with some people viewing it as a liberating and life-affirming philosophy, while others see it as a shallow and self-centered worldview that can lead to harm and suffering. As with any philosophical or ethical concept, it is important to consider the context and the individual’s motivations and values when discussing hedonism.