pandemic

adjective
pan·​dem·​ic | \ pan-ˈde-mik \

Definition of pandemic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population pandemic malaria The 1918 flu was pandemic and claimed millions of lives.

pandemic

noun
pan·​dem·​ic | \ pan-ˈde-mik \

Definition of pandemic (Entry 2 of 2)

: an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population : a pandemic outbreak of a disease

Examples of pandemic in a Sentence

Noun

… globalization, the most thoroughgoing socioeconomic upheaval since the Industrial Revolution, which has set off a pandemic of retrogressive nationalism, regional separatism, and religious extremism. — Martin Filler, New York Review of Books, 24 Sept. 2009 … it also hopes to utilize this cultural investigation to better understand strategies to reduce the massive pandemic we now understand cigarette smoking to produce. — Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007 There is evidence that this gambling pandemic is going global. — Gerri Hirshey, New York Times Magazine, 17 July 1994 In ten years that it raged, this pandemic took or ravaged the lives of nearly five million people before it disappeared, as mysteriously and suddenly as it had arrived, in 1927. — Oliver Sacks, Awakenings, 1973 The 1918 flu pandemic claimed millions of lives.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

America in 2018 is in many respects safer from the pandemic threat than America was in 1918. Ron Klain, Vox, "A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it," 15 Oct. 2018 If a pandemic disease severely affected China or India, where large shares of medicines come from, production could be knocked out or slowed. Smithsonian, "A Saline Shortage This Flu Season Exposes a Flaw in Our Medical Supply Chain," 22 Jan. 2018 This year’s influenza season is a stark reminder of just how important this work is to remove the threat of influenza—seasonal and pandemic—forever. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Commentary: A $12 Million Innovation Prize for a Universal Flu Vaccine," 30 Apr. 2018 Those same factors faced the SOMNIA researchers, who were studying vaccines that contained AS03 but also MF-59, an adjuvant that was included in pandemic vaccines produced by Novartis. Helen Branswell, STAT, "A stubborn medical mystery: Was pandemic flu vaccine tied to an increase in narcolepsy cases?," 5 July 2018 This year’s flu season has killed more children than in any non-pandemic year on record, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Record-Breaking Number of Kids Died During This Year's Flu Season," 8 June 2018 As the illness reaches pandemic proportions—with hundreds of thousands of cases in the U.S. annually—innovative efforts are under way to confront and contain it. Ginny Graves, Vogue, "Lyme Disease Is Spreading at an Alarming Rate—and This Is Why," 16 May 2018 With each passing day, the threat that an outbreak turns into a pandemic increases. Julia Belluz, Vox, "There’s a new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.," 11 May 2018 The difference between then and now isn’t just pandemic versus epidemic. Lily Rothman, Time, "The Worst Flu Pandemic of the 20th Century Has an Urgent Lesson for Today," 26 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That’s because a pandemic is when a new strain is introduced to the population that immune systems have not yet seen before. Cassie Cope, charlotteobserver, "NC flu deaths rise to the most in at least a decade. Here’s why this season is so bad. | Charlotte Observer," 8 Mar. 2018 The influenza pandemic that broke out 100 years ago was far more virulent than this year’s nasty flu season. Ashley Halsey Iii, Washington Post, "A killer flu was raging. But in 1918, U.S. officials ignored the crisis to fight a war.," 3 Feb. 2018 The reproduction number for the 1918 pandemic, which caused an estimated 675,000 deaths in the U.S., was around 1.8. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "Six Feet, 48 Hours, 10 Days: How to Avoid Flu," 4 Jan. 2019 Its goal is to improve the country’s ability to respond to biological attacks, pandemics, and outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases. Nicolette Louissaint, STAT, "Congress needs to back legislation supporting disaster preparedness," 15 June 2018 Nevertheless, Tamiflu is one of various substances stockpiled by officials of the Strategic National Stockpile against the possibility (or probability) of another major pandemic. William F. Bynum, WSJ, "‘Pandemic 1918’ and ‘Influenza’ Review: Fire, Ice or Virus?," 4 Jan. 2019 Ziemer’s departure, along with the breakup of his team, comes at a time when many experts say the country is already underprepared for the increasing risks of a pandemic or bioterrorism attack. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump administration loses effort to halt phone-search lawsuit," 10 May 2018 The samples are critical for studying the virus and developing life-saving treatments and vaccines in preparation for potential outbreaks or pandemics. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "China’s refusal to share virus is “scandalous… many could die needlessly”," 28 Aug. 2018 Since the federal government started collecting data 21 years ago, the United States has seen higher rates of flu-like activity just a handful of times: twice in 1999, in late 2003, and finally in the swine flu pandemic of 2009. Matt Rocheleau, BostonGlobe.com, "Flu activity surges in US and Mass. to highest levels seen in years," 26 Jan. 2018

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

Adjective

1666, in the meaning defined above

Noun

circa 1853, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pandemic

Adjective and Noun

Late Latin pandemus, from Greek pandēmos of all the people, from pan- + dēmos people — more at demagogue

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Time Traveler for pandemic

The first known use of pandemic was in 1666

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More Definitions for pandemic

pandemic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pandemic

medical : an occurrence in which a disease spreads very quickly and affects a large number of people over a wide area or throughout the world

pandemic

adjective
pan·​dem·​ic | \ pan-ˈdem-ik \

Medical Definition of pandemic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population pandemic malaria pandemic influenza

pandemic

noun

Medical Definition of pandemic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a pandemic outbreak of a disease

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