late 14c., "follower of Epicurus," a Latinized form of 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" (1560s), especially "glutton, sybarite" (1774). Epicurus's school was opposed by the stoics, who first gave his name a reproachful sense. Non-pejorative meaning "one who cultivates refined taste in food and drink" is from 1580s.
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