ep·​i·​de·​mi·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌe-pə-ˌdē-mē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce epidemiology (audio) , -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

Other Words from epidemiology

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

Examples of epidemiology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ring one included the close contacts of cases identified by the epidemiology team. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 30 July 2022 Perhaps no single public health method is more prevalent than epidemiology, which uses shoe-leather data collection and statistics to analyze the incidence and distribution of disease between populations. Wired, 28 July 2022 To a person, scientists expressed eagerness for better studies, better funding, better participation, with urgency bubbling up from specialists in cardiology, neuroscience, epidemiology, pulmonology, and immunology. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, 23 July 2022 The study, published in the journal Nature, was produced in collaboration with more than 100 scientists across a range of fields including genetics, archaeology and epidemiology. Rachel Pannett, Washington Post, 28 July 2022 But the fledgling field of genetic epidemiology isn’t so sure. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2022 After all, notes Dr. Seema Shah, medical director of the county’s epidemiology unit, everyone knows by now that many are doing home tests, and those results don’t get reported to health departments. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 July 2022 The agency’s latest epidemiology report says there were over 4.1 million cases reported worldwide last week, an 18% increase as compared to the previous week. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 June 2022 The epidemiology and cardiac MRI labs are housed in Maryland’s medical school, while the overall registry is based at the Ohio State University. Meredith Cohn, Baltimore Sun, 27 June 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of epidemiology was in 1850

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Dictionary Entries Near epidemiology

epidemic curve



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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Epidemiology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epidemiology. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for epidemiology


ep·​i·​de·​mi·​ol·​o·​gy | \ -jē How to pronounce epidemiology (audio) \
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 How to pronounce epidemiology (audio) , -​ˌdem-​ē-​ How to pronounce epidemiology (audio) \ also epidemiologic \ -​ik How to pronounce epidemiology (audio) \ adjective
epidemiologically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce epidemiology (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on epidemiology

Britannica English: Translation of epidemiology for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about epidemiology


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