prevalence

noun

prev·​a·​lence ˈpre-və-lən(t)s How to pronounce prevalence (audio)
ˈprev-lən(t)s
1
: the quality or state of being prevalent
2
: the degree to which something is prevalent
especially : the percentage of a population that is affected with a particular disease at a given time

Examples of prevalence in a Sentence

the prevalence of rumors when hard information is withheld from the public
Recent Examples on the Web Mexico is the third worst country in the world in terms of the prevalence of criminal markets and the worst country in the world for extortion. Nathaniel Parish Flannery, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Given the popularity of social media and the prevalence of smartphones in teenagers’ lives, how can adults protect them from every worst-case scenario lurking in direct messages and algorithmic feeds? Heather Kelly, Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2024 The move could make a meaningful difference, as the study found lower impacts from both extreme heat and wildfire smoke in areas with a higher prevalence of air conditioners. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2024 The Atherton Cotton Mill was built in 1892 as the first industrial mill in the rural Dilworth factory district and marked the beginning of Charlotte’s prevalence as a textile hub in the Southeast. Jillian Mueller, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The promise is only too enticing, which explains the continued prevalence of this dubious advice. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 24 Jan. 2024 Sponsored by the Julius Rosenwald Fund, this earlier program aimed to assess the prevalence of the disease in several Southern counties and make sensible plans for its treatment—a starkly different goal than the Tuskegee experiment. Caitjan Gainty, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Jan. 2024 Allure 60-Second Tips: How To Get Ombré Lips The prevalence of the mob wife look leads us to believe that a return to makeup maximalism isn't far away. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 2 Feb. 2024 Wen: The prevalence of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, increases with increasing age. Katia Hetter, CNN, 2 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prevalence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1682, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prevalence was in 1682

Dictionary Entries Near prevalence

Cite this Entry

“Prevalence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prevalence. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

prevalence

noun
prev·​a·​lence ˈprev(-ə)-lən(t)s How to pronounce prevalence (audio)
1
: the state of being prevalent
2
: the degree to which something is prevalent
especially : the part of a population that is affected with a particular disease at a given time

Medical Definition

prevalence

noun
prev·​a·​lence ˈprev(-ə)-lən(t)s How to pronounce prevalence (audio)
: the percentage of a population that is affected with a particular disease at a given time compare incidence sense 2b

More from Merriam-Webster on prevalence

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!