Origin of epizooticFrench épizootique ; from épizootie (formed by analogy with épidémie: see epidemic) ; from epizoon
Origin of epizooticepi– + zo(o)– + –otic.
- (epidemiology) An occurrence of a disease or disorder in a population of non-human animals at a frequency higher than that expected in a given time period. Compare epidemic.
- At the same time as an epidemic of the flu broke out among the people, an epizootic of the swine flu broke out among their pigs.
- A particular epizootic (epizootically-occurring) disease.
- (dialectal, humorous, often in the plural) A disease or ailment.
- Johnny's not doing so well today, I think he caught the epizootic.
Used in the second sense to mean "an ailment", it is often preceded by the definite article ("the epizootic"), is often plural in form ("the epizootics"), and is sometimes written "(the) epizoodic".
(comparative more epizootic, superlative most epizootic)
From French épizootique, animal equivalent of epidemic, from épizootie, irregularly formed from Ancient Greek ἐπί (epi-) + ζῷον (zōon, “animal”). epi- + zo- + -otic. Use of the word in the second sense, "an ailment", was likely originally a reference to a particular epizootic ailment. Both senses are attested since at least the 1800s, and the pronunciation with five syllables is explicitly attested since then as well. Dialectal pronunciation of the second sense with four syllables is attested since at least the 1910s in spellings like "epizudic" and is suggested by 1870s references to a shortened form of the word, "zooty" .