syl·​vat·​ic | \ sil-ˈva-tik How to pronounce sylvatic (audio) \

Definition of sylvatic

1 : sylvan sylvatic rodents
2 : occurring in or affecting wild animals sylvatic diseases

Examples of sylvatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1987, there were only 18 surviving due to outbreaks of canine distemper virus and sylvatic plague. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Sweet face, sharp claws: Louisville Zoo specializes in breeding a tiny endangered animal," 24 Feb. 2020 European Americans brought habitat destruction, poison, and, via a ship from Asia, the non-native sylvatic plague to the American West, decimating both prairie dogs and their once-top predator. Ashley Braun, Longreads, "Research and Rescue: Saving Species from Ourselves," 24 Oct. 2019 Twenty Years Ago Ground squirrels found carrying sylvatic plague prompted the Los Angeles County Health Department to temporarily close the Switzer Falls picnic area in the Angeles National Forest 6 miles north of La Cañada. La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada History: Once upon a time you could fish at Devil’s Gate Dam," 12 Aug. 2019 Bacterium responsible for sylvatic plague, which is also known as bubonic plague when the disease infects people, can be transmitted to humans by rodents and their fleas, a news release on Thursday said. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Open space near DIA closed due to proximity to plague-infested prairie dogs," 8 Aug. 2019 But the biggest challenge the program is having is combating sylvatic plague in the wild, which is transferred from prairie dogs to ferrets. Andrew Nicla,, "Late hours, no pay, diminishing returns: Scouring the Arizona desert for black-footed ferrets," 10 July 2019 Miners and loggers, some with fake immunization cards, jet between sylvatic regions and cities in just hours, potentially transferring the virus to new areas. Sam Kean, Science | AAAS, "When will yellow fever strike Brazil again? Monkeys and mosquitoes hold clues," 17 Aug. 2017

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

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sylvatic

Latin silvaticus of the woods, wild — more at savage

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Time Traveler for sylvatic

Time Traveler

The first known use of sylvatic was in 1661

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Cite this Entry

“Sylvatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for sylvatic


syl·​vat·​ic | \ sil-ˈvat-ik How to pronounce sylvatic (audio) \

Medical Definition of sylvatic

: occurring in, affecting, or transmitted by wild animals sylvatic diseases sylvatic yellow fever

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