AskDefine | Define gluttony

Dictionary Definition



1 habitual eating to excess
2 eating to excess (personified as one of the deadly sins) [syn: overeating, gula]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. the vice of eating to excess


  • Czech: obžerství
  • Esperanto: glutemeco
  • Finnish: ylensyönti, mässäily
  • French: gourmandise
  • German: Völlerei, Fresssucht
  • Italian: gola
  • Japanese: 暴食
  • Portuguese: gula
  • Russian: чревоугодие
  • Serbian: neumerenost, crevougodstvo

Extensive Definition

For other uses, see Gluttony (disambiguation)
Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or intoxicants to the point of waste. In some Christian denominations, it is considered one of the seven deadly sins—a misplaced desire of food or its withholding from the needy.
Depending on the culture, it can be seen as either a vice or a sign of status. Gluttony is not a sin in some cultures. The relative affluence of the society can affect this view both ways. A wealthy group might take pride in the security of having enough food to eat to show it off, but it could also result in a moral backlash when confronted with the reality of those less fortunate.

Gluttony in Christianity

Early Church leaders (e.g., St. Gregory the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony, arguing that it also consists in an anticipation of meals, the eating of delicacies, and costly foods, seeking after sauces and seasonings, and eating too eagerly.
St. Gregory the Great, a doctor of the Church, described five ways by which one can commit sin of gluttony:
  1. Eating before the time of meal in order to satisfy the palate.
  2. Seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the "vile sense of taste."
  3. Seeking after sauces and seasonings for the enjoyment of the palate.
  4. Exceeding the necessary amount of food.
  5. Taking food with too much eagerness, although eating the proper amount.
The fifth way is worse than all others, said the saint, because it shows attachment to pleasure most clearly among others.
To recapitulate, St. Gregory the Great said that one may succumb to the sin of gluttony by:
  1. time (when)
  2. quality
  3. stimulants
  4. quantity
  5. eagerness
St. Thomas Aquinas reiterated the list of five ways to commit gluttony:
  • Praepropere - eating too soon
  • Laute - eating too expensively
  • Nimis - eating too much
  • Ardenter - eating too eagerly
  • Studiose - eating too daintily
St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote the following when explaining gluttony:
"Pope Innocent XI has condemned the proposition which asserts that it is not a sin to eat or to drink from the sole motive of satisfying the palate. However, it is not a fault to feel pleasure in eating: for it is, generally speaking, impossible to eat without experiencing the delight which food naturally produces. But it is a defect to eat, like beasts, through the sole motive of sensual gratification, and without any reasonable object. Hence, the most delicious meats may be eaten without sin, if the motive be good and worthy of a rational creature; and, in taking the coarsest food through attachment to pleasure, there may be a fault."

Glorified gluttony

In some social groups gluttony has become glorified, for example, competitive eating competitions. These competitions are often overt displays which are televised. A famous example is Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.


See also

gluttony in Czech: Nestřídmost
gluttony in German: Völlerei
gluttony in Spanish: Gula
gluttony in Esperanto: Glutemeco
gluttony in French: Gourmandise
gluttony in Italian: Gola (ingordigia)
gluttony in Hebrew: גרגרנות
gluttony in Lithuanian: Apsirijimas
gluttony in Portuguese: Gula
gluttony in Russian: Обжорство
gluttony in Sicilian: Gulusarìa
gluttony in Simple English: Gluttony
gluttony in Slovak: Obžerstvo
gluttony in Ukrainian: Ненажерливість

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abandon, acedia, acquisitiveness, anger, appetite, avarice, avariciousness, avaritia, avidity, avidness, boundlessness, cannibalism, carnivorism, carnivority, carnivorousness, chewing, consumption, covetousness, crapulence, crapulency, crapulousness, cropping, cupidity, deadly sin, deglutition, devouring, devourment, dieting, dining, drunkenness, eating, edacity, egregiousness, enormousness, envy, epulation, exaggeration, excess, excessiveness, exorbitance, exorbitancy, extravagance, extravagancy, extreme, extremes, extremism, extremity, fabulousness, feasting, feeding, frenzy of desire, fury of desire, giantism, gigantism, gobbling, grasping, graspingness, grazing, greed, greediness, gula, gulosity, herbivorism, herbivority, herbivorousness, hoggishness, hunger, hyperbole, hypertrophy, immoderacy, immoderateness, immoderation, incontinence, indiscipline, indulgence, ingestion, inordinacy, inordinance, inordinate desire, inordinateness, insatiability, insatiable desire, intemperance, intemperateness, invidia, ira, itching palm, licking, lust, luxuria, manducation, mastication, messing, monstrousness, munching, nibbling, nimiety, nutrition, omnivorism, omnivorousness, omophagy, outrageousness, overdevelopment, overdoing, overeating, overgreatness, overgreediness, overgrowth, overindulgence, overlargeness, overmuch, overmuchness, pantophagy, pasture, pasturing, pecking, piggishness, pride, prodigality, radicalism, rapaciousness, rapacity, ravenousness, regalement, relishing, rumination, savoring, self-indulgence, sloth, sordidness, superbia, swinishness, tasting, too much, too-muchness, unconscionableness, unconstraint, uncontrol, undueness, unreasonableness, unrestrainedness, unrestraint, vegetarianism, voraciousness, voracity, wolfing, wolfishness, wrath
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