epi·​zo·​ot·​ic | \ ˌe-pə-zə-ˈwä-tik How to pronounce epizootic (audio) , -zō-ˈä- \

Definition of epizootic

: an outbreak of disease affecting many animals of one kind at the same time also : the disease itself

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Other Words from epizootic

epizootic adjective

Examples of epizootic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With Covid keeping us at home, many ecologists are unaware of potentially the most important non-human epizootic occurring since white-nose. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "A new deadly virus spreading across U.S. could decimate the rabbit population," 19 May 2020 African swine fever decimated the country’s pig population in 2019 in what lovers of Greek etymology would have insisted was an epizootic—relating to animals—and not an epidemic—relating to people. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "China’s Other Health Crisis Still Isn’t Fixed," 10 Mar. 2020 Unfortunately an epizootic of African swine fever has recently wiped out at least a third of all the pigs in China. The Economist, "The supply sideWhy onions and pigs can give economists a headache," 10 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epizootic.' 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 epizootic

1748, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for epizootic

borrowed from French épizootique "pertaining to a disease affecting many animals at once," coinage modeled on épidemique epidemic entry 1, from Greek epi- epi- + zôion "animal" + French -otique -otic entry 1 — more at zoo-

Note: The Oxford English Dictionary and Trésor de la Langue Française both treat épizootique as a derivative of épizootie, but the noun is attested later and is more likely a back-formation from the adjective, on the model of épidémique : épidémie.

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Time Traveler for epizootic

Time Traveler

The first known use of epizootic was in 1748

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Statistics for epizootic

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Epizootic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epizootic. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for epizootic


epi·​zo·​ot·​ic | \ ˌep-ə-zə-ˈwät-ik How to pronounce epizootic (audio) \

Medical Definition of epizootic

: an outbreak of disease affecting many animals of one kind at the same time also : the disease itself

Other Words from epizootic

epizootic adjective
epizootically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce epizootically (audio) \ adverb

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