- 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.Licensed from iStockPhoto
Origin: French épidémique ; from Middle French ; from Midieval Latin epidemicus ; from epidemia ; from Classical Greek epidēmia ; from epidēmios, among the people, general ; from epi-, epi- plush dēmos, people: see democracy
- an epidemic disease
- the rapid spreading of such a disease
- a rapid, widespread occurrence or growth
- epidemically adverb
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- 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: French 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.
- epˌi·demˈi·cal·ly adverb
epidemic - Cultural Definition
epidemic - Medical Definition
epidemic - Science Definition
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