Definition of systemic in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /sɪˈstɛmɪk/
Pronunciation: /sɪˈstiːmɪk/


1Relating to a system, especially as opposed to a particular part: the disease is localized rather than systemic
More example sentences
  • And that's one of the reasons that I think we need real systemic reform, so that the checks and balances are in place.
  • This is precisely why punitive taxation, while unfair in the short term, is fair in the long run - it will force a deeper, systemic change in the way we organise our city.
  • This is a systemic failure and most of the civilian leadership of the Pentagon is implicated, either by omission or comission.
2 Physiology Denoting the part of the circulatory system concerned with the transport of oxygen to and carbon dioxide from the body in general, especially as distinct from the pulmonary part concerned with the transport of oxygen from and carbon dioxide to the lungs.
Example sentences
  • A single great artery leaves the heart and gives rise to the coronary, pulmonary, and systemic arterial circulation.
  • Therefore the pulmonary and systemic circulations are in parallel and a communication between the two is needed.
  • Even a minute difference between the outputs, if sustained, would very rapidly empty either the pulmonary or the systemic circulation.
3(Of an insecticide, fungicide, or similar substance) entering the plant via the roots or shoots and passing through the tissues.
Example sentences
  • Either contact or systemic insecticides will take care of these insects.
  • Then a systemic fungicide should be sprayed on the infected plants.
  • Applying a granular soil systemic insecticide at planting time provides early season greenbug control.



Example sentences
  • Journalism and serious media, like many other elements of the best of the 20th century, has been systemically transformed from something that had institutional status into a commodity.
  • It could provide an opportunity to reform the unfair trade rules that systemically disadvantage the world's poorest countries and people, and reduce the inequalities that divide rich and poor.
  • But it is this aspect of university life that is now being systemically undermined and devalued by the imposition of agendas that demand ‘relevance’.


Early 19th century: formed irregularly from system + -ic.

Words that rhyme with systemic

anaemic (US anemic), epistemic

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sys|tem¦ic

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.