systemic

1 of 2

adjective

sys·​tem·​ic si-ˈste-mik How to pronounce systemic (audio)
: of, relating to, or common to a system: such as
a
: affecting the body generally
systemic diseases
b
: supplying those parts of the body that receive blood through the aorta rather than through the pulmonary artery
c
: of, relating to, or being a pesticide that as used is harmless to the plant or higher animal but when absorbed into its sap or bloodstream makes the entire organism toxic to pests (such as an insect or fungus)
Neonics … are what is known as "systemic" pesticides. That is, the neonics are applied directly to seeds, and those treated seeds then grow into the crops that contain neonicotinoids in their pollen, their nectar and, indeed, their every fiber.Joel Bleifuss
d
: fundamental to a predominant social, economic, or political practice
systemic poverty
Our nation faces a fork in the road and a decision to either continue down the same path of systemic racism or to confront our past honestly.Bree Newsome
People are tired of marching. People are tired of hashtag protests. People want some systemic change.Rev. Tiffany Thomas
systemically adverb
Systematic and Systemic: Usage Guide

Systematic and systemic both come from system. Systematic is the more common word; it most often describes something that is done according to a system or method

a systematic approach to learning that involves carefully following the program's steps

Systemic describes what relates to or affects an entire system. For example, a systemic disease affects the entire body or organism, and systemic changes to an organization have an impact on the entire organization, including its most basic operations.

systemic

2 of 2

noun

: a systemic pesticide

Example Sentences

Adjective The company made some systemic changes to the way it operated. The problem seems to be systemic.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The answers form the broader message Sund delivers, calling out systemic failures that left his agency and the country flatfooted despite clear signs intelligence agencies had received of a gathering storm. Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2023 Brian Higgins, a former New Jersey police chief and an adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, said two years isn't enough time for real, systemic change. Kala Kachmar, The Courier-Journal, 30 Dec. 2022 The idea of a public institution built on a compromised foundation will have new resonance for American viewers, who, in the past decade, have witnessed a series of staggering systemic failures—of democracy, public health, and civic infrastructure. Elizabeth Alsop, The Atlantic, 28 Nov. 2022 Meanwhile, the complaint to the FSR calls for an investigation into Home Office practices in the context of immigration, and systemic failures relating to the quality and accuracy of data extracted from the GPS tags. Emma Woollacott, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 In the wake of that shooting, Gov. Asa Hutchinson asked the Arkansas School Safety Commission to review protocol for active shooters on K-12 campuses after multiple, systemic failures were identified in Uvalde in the aftermath of that tragedy. Nick Popowitch, Arkansas Online, 3 Aug. 2022 Coyote’s story, told through hours of interviews and documents, reveals how years of trauma and systemic failures drove her to fight for survivors like her. Bryce Dole And Zack Demars, oregonlive, 30 July 2022 Survivors now saw their cases in the context of systemic failures. New York Times, 28 July 2022 The report: Uvalde school shooting report finds 'systemic failures' in law enforcement response. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 19 July 2022
Noun
This requires building an ecosystem that works to uplift diverse founders and individuals, but this has to work along two prongs—both the personal and the systemic. Karl Lokko, WIRED, 19 Dec. 2022 Alexis Oatman reports the event will help raise essential funds to support the organization’s ongoing mission to address and improve the systemic and community structures that lead to poor birth outcomes. cleveland, 10 Nov. 2022 This is an intentional leader who understands what zero tolerance actually means but has the systemic and leadership and compassion chops to bring everyone along. Fortune Editors, Fortune, 26 Oct. 2022 From the individual to the systemic, all angles matter. Lauren Leader, ELLE, 30 June 2022 In comparison, for insecticides, a systemic inside the plant’s tissues needs to be eaten to impact the pest. Miri Talabac, baltimoresun.com, 9 Feb. 2022 The second lists all the hassles and headaches of your job, from the petty to the systemic. David G. Allan, CNN, 6 Sep. 2021 But experts are weighing possible explanations for at least a few of these trends — some biological, some behavioral and some systemic. Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2021 Deploying patently anti-Asian rhetoric, Trump and his team started a systemic—and roundly condemned—campaign in April suggesting that the virus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, the city in which it was first identified. Philip Elliott, Time, 26 May 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'systemic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1803, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of systemic was in 1803

Dictionary Entries Near systemic

Cite this Entry

“Systemic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/systemic. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

systemic

adjective
sys·​tem·​ic
sis-ˈtem-ik
: of, relating to, or common to a system: as
a
: of or relating to the body as a whole
a systemic disease
b
: concerned with the circulation that supplies blood to the bodily tissues through the aorta rather than the circulation involved in carrying blood through the pulmonary artery

Medical Definition

systemic

1 of 2 adjective
sys·​tem·​ic sis-ˈtem-ik How to pronounce systemic (audio)
: of, relating to, or common to a system: as
a
: affecting the body generally compare local
b
: supplying those parts of the body that receive blood through the aorta rather than through the pulmonary artery
c
: being a pesticide that as used is harmless to a higher animal or a plant but when absorbed into the bloodstream or the sap makes the whole organism toxic to pests (as cattle grubs, mites, or aphids)
systemically adverb

systemic

2 of 2 noun
: a systemic pesticide

More from Merriam-Webster on systemic

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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