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
Her story is one of hard-won resilience and a desire to fight against tremendous odds: the systemic poverty instigated and perpetuated by what her advocates describe as punitive government policy.Stephanie Convery
People are tired of marching. People are tired of hashtag protests. People want some systemic change.Rev. Tiffany Thomas
see also systemic racism
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

Examples of systemic in a Sentence

Adjective The company made some systemic changes to the way it operated. The problem seems to be systemic.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
What’s also needed is overcoming the stigma and systemic bias directed at people living with obesity. W. Franklyn Richardson, STAT, 10 June 2024 But Atlanta quickly expanded its sitcom vision in several unexpected directions, transforming into a feverish, prophetic, brutally systemic, reality-warped depiction of modern-day America. EW.com, 10 June 2024
Noun
In addition, the use of broad-spectrum pesticides as a systemic applied to the soil or sprayed on plants often sets up gardeners for heavy infestations of spider mites. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Mar. 2024 George Loewenstein, a titan of behavioral science and a co-author of Ariely’s masturbation paper, has refashioned his research program, conceding that his own work might have contributed to an emphasis on the individual at the expense of the systemic. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 30 Sep. 2023 See all Example Sentences for systemic 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'systemic.' 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

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 24 Jun. 2024.

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
c
: fundamental to a predominant social, economic, or political practice
systemic change

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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