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

For pandemic bonds and related swaps this risk premium is about $17m a year. The Economist, "The World Bank’s pandemic bonds are not paying out for Ebola," 29 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, international health planners tensely monitor the unpredictable evolution of the flu virus, watching for the emergence of a pandemic strain that could kill many millions. Wired, "Why Denying Migrants Flu Shots Is a Dangerous, Foolish Move," 28 Aug. 2019 Only four such declarations have been made in the past: in 2009, for pandemic influenza; in 2014, for a polio resurgence in several countries; in 2014, for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa; and in 2016, for the Zika virus epidemic. Denise Grady, New York Times, "Ebola Outbreak in Congo Is Declared a Global Health Emergency," 17 July 2019 The likelihood of a deadly pandemic outbreak of influenza is not far from reality considering the nature of some of the different viral strains. David Biello, Scientific American, "The Influenza Threat: Pandemic in the Making," 28 Jan. 2013 Every few decades, a pandemic flu variant emerges that not only infects humans but also passes rapidly from person to person. Quanta Magazine, "Decoding Flu Viruses Before an Outbreak," 29 Aug. 2013 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Bears’ bus was rocking over the edge of a cliff, with an 0-2 start threatening to create a panic pandemic across the Chicago area. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Mile-High magic: A fourth-and-15 dart from Mitch Trubisky and a clutch kick from Eddy Pineiro give the Bears a last-second miracle," 15 Sep. 2019 When a zombie pandemic threatens to destroy humanity, a former United Nations investigator is forced back into service to try to uncover the source of the infection. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Casey Affleck must protect his daughter's identity after a pandemic wipes out the female population Casey Affleck is making his feature narrative debut behind the camera — and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Casey Affleck Fights for His Daughter's Life in Trailer for Post-Apocalyptic Light of My Life," 23 July 2019 The groundbreaking technothriller, which cemented Jurassic Park and Westworld mastermind Crichton as a major author, introduced the terror of a global pandemic to popular culture. David Canfield, EW.com, "First Look: The Andromeda Strain is back with a new look for its 50th anniversary," 26 June 2019 There was a swine flu pandemic in 2009 in the United States. Dan Gelston, The Denver Post, "Pedro Martinez still baseball’s daddy years after retirement," 5 Aug. 2019 Previous emergencies were declared for the devastating 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people, the emergence of Zika in the Americas, the swine flu pandemic and polio. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Global health emergency declared over deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo," 18 July 2019 Gerry Lemcke of Swiss Re, which offers parametric insurance against pandemics, flight delays and hurricane damage to coral reefs, sees it as working rather like derivatives in finance, which have a strike price. The Economist, "The future of insurance is happening without insurance firms," 20 July 2019 Previous emergencies were declared for the devastating 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people, the emergence of Zika in the Americas, the swine flu pandemic and polio eradication. Fox News, "Ebola outbreak in Congo declared a global health emergency by WHO," 18 July 2019

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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Statistics for pandemic

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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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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