pandemic

adjective
pan·​dem·​ic | \ pan-ˈde-mik How to pronounce pandemic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pandemic (audio) \

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

There are four types of influenza viruses, creatively termed A, B, C, and D. Influenzas A and B are responsible for seasonal epidemics in humans, and influenza A is the one that causes pandemics. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Llama “nanobodies” might grant universal flu protection," 5 Nov. 2018 The emergence of a new and different influenza A virus can cause an influenza pandemic. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Florida pastor's wife dies from flu-related complications, family says," 31 Aug. 2018 In the 2009 pandemic, the H1N1 virus—the same virus that is dominant in most areas of the country this year—had an effective reproduction number of 1.4 to 1.5. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "Six Feet, 48 Hours, 10 Days: How to Avoid Flu," 4 Jan. 2019 This Flu Map Shows How the Biggest Influenza Outbreak in Years Spread Across the U.S. Let there be no mistake: in a severe pandemic, the U.S. healthcare system could be overwhelmed in just weeks. Time, "Our Complacency About the Flu is Killing Us," 19 Jan. 2018 In the event of a fast-moving pandemic, the world would be pretty vulnerable. Abigail Higgins, Vox, "10 ways the world is most likely to end, explained by scientists," 18 Oct. 2018 That combination of rapid mutation and deadliness is what has experts worried about its potential to ignite a global pandemic. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "China’s refusal to share virus is “scandalous… many could die needlessly”," 28 Aug. 2018 This might seem like a damning verdict on human nature, or evidence of a global pandemic of rudeness. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, "Think You Always Say Thank You? Oh, Please," 22 May 2018 Some pharmaceutical companies are producing flu vaccine virus in mammalian cells to avoid the egg-adaption problem, and to facilitate a faster response in case of a pandemic. Jason Gale / Bloomberg, Time, "How Effective Is the 2018 Flu Shot? Here's What You Should Know," 7 Feb. 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 How to pronounce pandemic (audio) \

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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