- The definition of an epidemic is an outbreak of disease that occurs on a ground scale or a community-wide level.
An example of an epidemic is the AIDs virus during the 1980's.
Newspaper headlines report a flu epidemic.
Origin of epidemicFrench épidémique ; from Middle French ; from Medieval Latin epidemicus ; from epidemia ; from Classical Greek epidēmia ; from epidēmios, among the people, general ; from epi-, epi- + dēmos, people: see democracy
- an epidemic disease
- the rapid spreading of such a disease
- a rapid, widespread occurrence or growth
- Spreading rapidly and extensively by infection and affecting many individuals in an area or a population at the same time: an epidemic outbreak of influenza.
- Widely prevalent: epidemic discontent.
- An outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads rapidly and widely.
- A rapid spread, growth, or development: an unemployment epidemic.
Origin of epidemicFrench épidémique, from épidémie, an epidemic, from Old French espydymie, from Medieval Latin epidēmia, from Greek epidēmiā, prevalence of an epidemic disease, from epidēmos, prevalent : epi-, epi- + dēmos, people; see dā- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more epidemic, superlative most epidemic)
- Like or having to do with an epidemic; widespread
- Epidemic hysteria occurred upon the incumbent’s reelection.