ep·​i·​de·​mi·​ol·​o·​gy | \ˌe-pə-ˌdē-mē-ˈä-lə-jē, -ˌde-mē-\

Definition of epidemiology 

1 : a branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population

2 : the sum of the factors controlling the presence or absence of a disease or pathogen

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Other Words from epidemiology

epidemiological \ˌe-​pə-​ˌdē-​mē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl, -​ˌde-​mē-​ \ or less commonly epidemiologic \ˌe-​pə-​ˌdē-​mē-​ə-​ˈlä-​jik, -​ˌde-​mē-​ \ adjective
epidemiologically \ˌe-​pə-​ˌdē-​mē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē, -​ˌde-​mē-​ \ adverb
epidemiologist \ˌe-​pə-​ˌdē-​mē-​ˈä-​lə-​jist, -​ˌde-​mē-​ \ noun

Examples of epidemiology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Coauthor Eliseo Guallar, an epidemiologist and professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says that since then, no evidence has emerged to change his mind. Jancee Dunn, Allure, "Pretty Pills: How Beauty Supplements Changed the Way We View Wellness," 2 Oct. 2018 The leader of that team is Allison Willis, an assistant professor of neurology and epidemiology at Penn. Terri Akman, Philly.com, "Parkinson's Disease may affect women differently. These researchers aim to find out why," 12 July 2018 While searching for ways to deal with the crisis, municipal officials learned about wastewater epidemiology and contacted Biobot. Justin Chen, BostonGlobe.com, "Below the street, robots turn sewers into sensors," 1 July 2018 While searching for ways to deal with the crisis, Bajorek and other town officials learned about wastewater-epidemiology and contacted Biobot Analytics. Justin Chen, STAT, "Scientists can track the spread of opioids in sewers. But do cities want to know what lies below?," 26 June 2018 Greaves reviewed more than 30 years of research, including his own, on the genetics, cell biology, immunology, epidemiology and animal modeling of childhood leukemia and reached this conclusion. Meera Senthilingam And Jessie Yeung, CNN, "A germ-free childhood could trigger leukemia, scientist suggests," 22 May 2018 Michael Siegel, a preventive-medicine physician, worked in epidemiology at the C.D.C. before joining Boston University’s School of Public Health. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "The Promise of Vaping and the Rise of Juul," 7 May 2018 Deborah Barnes, a professor in the UCSF departments of psychiatry, epidemiology and biostatistics, said there was no difference between combat blast survivors who had served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the other trauma victims. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Even milder concussions double dementia risk, UCSF study finds," 7 May 2018 Bednarz works to prevent the spread of diseases as an epidemiology disease investigator with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. Derek Hall, azcentral, "March For Science Phoenix: Hundreds of science supporters rally in Margaret T. Hance Park," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epidemiology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of epidemiology

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for epidemiology

borrowed from French, Spanish, or New Latin; French épidémiologie, borrowed from Spanish epidemiología, borrowed from New Latin epidēmiologia, from Medieval Latin epidēmia "disease affecting a large number of individuals, epidemic" + New Latin -o- -o- + -logia -logy — more at epidemic entry 1

Note: New Latin epidēmiologia was used in the title of a treatise by the Calabrian physician Quinto Tiberio Angelerio (1532-1617), Epidemiologia, sive Tractatus de peste (Madrid, 1598), a second edition of his earlier work Ectypa pestilentis status Algheriae Sardiniae (Cagliari, 1588), detailing methods to cope with a plague outbreak in Alghero, Sardinia, in 1582-83. The Latin word was revived by the Spanish physician Joaquín de Villalba (1752-1807) in his Epidemiología española (Madrid, 1802), a history of epidemics in Spain that was widely disseminated in Europe.

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for epidemiology

The first known use of epidemiology was in 1850

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English Language Learners Definition of epidemiology

medical : the study of how disease spreads and can be controlled


ep·​i·​de·​mi·​ol·​o·​gy | \-jē \
plural epidemiologies

Medical Definition of epidemiology 

1 : a branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population

2 : the sum of the factors controlling the presence or absence of a disease or pathogen

Other Words from epidemiology

epidemiological \-​ˌdē-​mē-​ə-​ˈläj-​i-​kəl, -​ˌdem-​ē-​ \ also epidemiologic \-​ik \ adjective
epidemiologically \-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on epidemiology

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with epidemiology

Spanish Central: Translation of epidemiology

Britannica English: Translation of epidemiology for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about epidemiology

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