endemic

1 of 2

adjective

en·​dem·​ic en-ˈde-mik How to pronounce endemic (audio)
in-
1
a
: belonging or native to a particular people or country
b
: characteristic of or prevalent in a particular field, area, or environment
problems endemic to translation
the self-indulgence endemic in the film industry
2
: restricted or peculiar to a locality or region
endemic diseases
an endemic species
endemically adverb
endemicity noun
endemism noun

endemic

2 of 2

noun

1
: an organism that is restricted or peculiar to a locality or region : an endemic organism
2
: a disease or outbreak of disease that is typically present in a particular region or population : an endemic disease
Usage of Endemic, Epidemic, and Pandemic

This trio of terms describes various degrees of an infectious disease's spread. The process begins with an outbreak—a sudden rise in the presence of a disease. An outbreak that can't be stopped or slowed, and in which the disease is spreading rapidly to many people within a localized community or region (such as a single country), is called an epidemic. The word pandemic refers to an epidemic that has gone international: the disease, once localized in scope, now starts to appear in other countries and even on other continents, typically infecting a large number of people in a short amount of time. A pandemic often has significant economic and social ramifications due to its global impact. If a disease lingers for a long time as an epidemic or a pandemic, it may eventually become endemic to an area. The word endemic describes a disease that persists at a consistent level within a region with fairly predictable rates of infection and spread, making it easier to prevent future outbreaks. Epidemic, pandemic, and endemic all share the Greek root dêmos, meaning "district, country, people."

Did you know?

Ever wonder how endemic ended up in the English language? Endemic made its way into English via French and New Latin and likely has its ultimate origin in the Greek adjective éndēmos, a word with multiple uses, among which is one describing a disease confined to one area. Éndēmos was formed from en- ( “in”) and a form of the noun dêmos, meaning “district, country, people.” That word was also key to the formation of the earlier word on which éndēmos was modeled: epidēmia, meaning “disease affecting a large number of individuals.” English adopted epidemic (also via French) in the early 17th century, but endemic didn’t become, uh, endemic until a century and a half later. (The now too-familiar relation pandemic slipped into the language in the mid 17th.) In current use, endemic characterizes diseases that are generally found in a particular area—malaria, for example, is said to be endemic to tropical and subtropical regions—while epidemic indicates a sudden, severe outbreak within that region or group. Endemic is also used by biologists to characterize plant and animal species that are found only in a given area.

Choose the Right Synonym for endemic

native, indigenous, endemic, aboriginal mean belonging to a locality.

native implies birth or origin in a place or region and may suggest compatibility with it.

native tribal customs

indigenous applies to that which is not only native but which, as far as can be determined, has never been introduced or brought from elsewhere.

indigenous plants

endemic implies being peculiar to a region.

a disease endemic in many countries

aboriginal implies having no known others preceding in occupancy of a particular region.

the aboriginal peoples of Australia

Examples of endemic in a Sentence

Adjective Divorce has become so endemic in our society that a whole lore has risen up around it: that divorce is a temporary crisis; that so many children have experienced their parents' divorce that children nowadays do not worry much about it; that in fact it makes things easier, and it is itself a mere rite of passage; that if the parents feel better, so will the children. Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, New Republic, 6 May 2002
Situated only 250 miles off the coast of Africa, Madagascar is biologically unique. Not only does it have a rich animal and plant life, it also houses a huge number of endemic species found nowhere else on earth. Jim Milliot et al., Publishers Weekly, 15 May 2000
The rap performers I enjoy are those who emphasize production values, songcraft and that quality of playfulness endemic to all good pop. Francis Davis, Atlantic, October 1993
the fish is not an endemic species of the lake, and it is rapidly devouring the native trout population
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
In 2023, the county considered the species endemic in Roseville’s Cherry Glen, Hillcrest, Cresthaven and Theiles Manor neighborhoods, and it was spotted in the Stanford Ranch neighborhood in Roseville. Camila Pedrosa, Sacramento Bee, 4 June 2024 Wastewater epidemiology has been in use for decades to detect polio in countries where the disease remains endemic, and more recently, to estimate the prevalence of opioid use in U.S. communities. Megan Molteni, STAT, 22 May 2024 The designation means that the extremely infectious measles virus is no longer endemic in the US—defined as continuous transmission in the country over 12 or more months while in the presence of an effective disease monitoring system. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 11 Apr. 2024 Zahiri said that the threat posed by the mosquitoes remains low, and the rare cases of illnesses associated with Aedes aegypti in the county came from people who traveled to places where the mosquito is endemic or established. Nollyanne Delacruz, The Mercury News, 24 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for endemic 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'endemic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

borrowed from French & New Latin; French endémique, borrowed from New Latin endēmicus, from Medieval Latin *endēmia "disease fixed in one locality" + New Latin -icus -ic entry 1; Medieval Latin *endēmia, probably from Greek éndēmos "at home, living in a place, native, confined to one area (of a disease, in galen)" (from en- en- entry 2 + -dēmos, adjective derivative of dêmos "district, country, people") on the model of epidēmia "disease affecting a large number of individuals" — more at demo-, epidemic entry 1

Note: Medieval Latin *endēmia is presumed on the basis of Middle French endemie, occurring in Thomas Le Forestier's Le regime contre epidimie et pestilence (Rouen, 1495) (see Revue de linguistique romane, vol. 36 [1972], p. 231).

Noun

derivative of endemic entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

1662, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of endemic was in 1622

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Dictionary Entries Near endemic

Cite this Entry

“Endemic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endemic. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

endemic

adjective
en·​dem·​ic
en-ˈdem-ik,
in-
: originating or growing or found especially and often only in a certain locality or region
endemic diseases
an endemic plant

Medical Definition

endemic

1 of 2 adjective
en·​dem·​ic en-ˈdem-ik, in- How to pronounce endemic (audio)
: restricted or peculiar to a locality or region
endemic diseases
an endemic species
compare epidemic sense 1, sporadic sense 1
endemically adverb

endemic

2 of 2 noun
1
: a disease or outbreak of a disease that is typically present in a particular region or population : an endemic disease
2
: an organism that is restricted or peculiar to a locality or region : an endemic organism

More from Merriam-Webster on endemic

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