Definition of epidemic in English:

epidemic

Syllabification: ep·i·dem·ic
Pronunciation: /ˌepiˈdemik
 
/

noun

  • 1A widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time: a flu epidemic
    More example sentences
    • The hugely controversial contiguous cull of livestock to combat the foot-and-mouth epidemic was stoutly defended by the Government.
    • The current cholera epidemic sweeping the nation needs the urgent attention of both authorities and the affected communities.
    • I remembered hearing about the cholera epidemic which had struck just before I was born.
    Synonyms
    outbreak, plague, pandemic, epizootic
  • 1.1A disease occurring in such a way.
    More example sentences
    • Rest assured that only on rare occasions do epidemics such as bubonic plague in India and diphtheria in Russia present a much more widespread threat.
    • He likened Aids to epidemics such as the bubonic plague, leprosy and smallpox, which ravaged parts of the world in previous historical epochs.
    • This neglect contributes to the emergence of public health crises, including epidemics like HIV, hepatitis, and drug-resistant tuberculosis.
  • 1.2A sudden, widespread occurrence of a particular undesirable phenomenon: an epidemic of violent crime
    More example sentences
    • Hunger and oppression have spawned an epidemic of violent crime.
    • I do not mean that the recent phenomenon of substance abuse epidemics and passive welfare has turned good health into bad.
    • We have a sudden epidemic of obesity that has emerged over the past 15 years.
    Synonyms
    spate, rash, wave, eruption, outbreak, craze; flood, torrent; upsurge, upturn, increase, growth, rise

adjective

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Origin

early 17th century (as an adjective): from French épidémique, from épidémie, via late Latin from Greek epidēmia 'prevalence of disease', from epidēmios 'prevalent', from epi 'upon' + dēmos 'the people'.

Usage

A disease that quickly and severely affects a large number of people and then subsides is an epidemic: throughout the Middle Ages, successive epidemics of the plague killed millions . Epidemic is also used as an adjective: she studied the causes of epidemic cholera . A disease that is continually present in an area and affects a relatively small number of people is endemic: malaria is endemic in (or to ) hot, moist climates . A pandemic is a widespread epidemic that may affect entire continents or even the world: the pandemic of 1918 ushered in a period of frequent epidemics of gradually diminishing severity . Thus, from an epidemiologist’s point of view, the Black Death in Europe and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa are pandemics rather than epidemics.

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
noun
a small amount; a little