adjective ep·i·dem·ic \ˌe-pə-ˈde-mik\

Definition of EPIDEMIC

:  affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time <typhoid was epidemic>
a :  excessively prevalent
b :  contagious 4 <epidemic laughter>
:  characterized by very widespread growth or extent :  of, relating to, or constituting an epidemic <the practice had reached epidemic proportions>
ep·i·dem·i·cal \-ˈde-mi-kəl\ adjective
ep·i·dem·i·cal·ly \-ˈde-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
ep·i·de·mic·i·ty \-də-ˈmi-sə-tē\ noun

Examples of EPIDEMIC

  1. <the little girl's giggles were epidemic, and soon the entire gathering was laughing>
  2. Overuse injuries—particularly in the elbows and shoulders of young pitchers—are indeed becoming epidemic. Orthopedists often blame coaches and parents for failing to monitor how many pitches kids are throwing and for not giving them time to rest their arms. —Sara Corbett, New York Times Sports Magazine, June 2006

Origin of EPIDEMIC

French épidémique, from Middle French, from epidemie, noun, epidemic, from Late Latin epidemia, from Greek epidēmia visit, epidemic, from epidēmos visiting, epidemic, from epi- + dēmos people — more at demagogue
First Known Use: 1603

Other Medicine Terms

analgesia, angina, diabetes, hepatitis, homeopathy, logorrhea, palliate, pandemic

Rhymes with EPIDEMIC


noun ep·i·dem·ic \ˌe-pə-ˈde-mik\

medical : an occurrence in which a disease spreads very quickly and affects a large number of people

: a sudden quickly spreading occurrence of something harmful or unwanted

Full Definition of EPIDEMIC

:  an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time :  an outbreak of epidemic disease
:  an outbreak or product of sudden rapid spread, growth, or development <an epidemic of bankruptcies>

Examples of EPIDEMIC

  1. Cosmetic surgery is now so prevalent that it could qualify as a national epidemic. —Toni Bentley, New York Times Book Review, 22 Oct. 2006

Origin of EPIDEMIC

(see 1epidemic)
First Known Use: 1757

Other Medicine Terms

analgesia, angina, diabetes, hepatitis, homeopathy, logorrhea, palliate, pandemic


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