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 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sylvatic

Statistics for sylvatic

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for sylvatic

The first known use of sylvatic was in 1661

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sylvatic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sylvatic

Comments on sylvatic

What made you want to look up sylvatic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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