Meaning of epidemic in English:

epidemic

Pronunciation /ɛpɪˈdɛmɪk/

See synonyms for epidemic

Translate epidemic into Spanish

noun

  • 1A widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.

    ‘a flu epidemic’
    • ‘I remembered hearing about the cholera epidemic which had struck just before I was born.’
    • ‘Well below sea level, it suffered from floods and devastating yellow fever epidemics.’
    • ‘Between 1555 and 1559 an influenza epidemic swept through the lowlands of England and Wales and killed around 200,000 people.’
    • ‘Although scattered outbreaks occurred earlier, the first major yellow fever epidemics in America broke out during the 1790s.’
    • ‘In recent weeks an epidemic of measles broke out.’
    • ‘The ship's cook came down with the mumps and an onboard epidemic occurred.’
    • ‘Doctors there feared epidemics of dysentery and cholera.’
    • ‘He is interested in the interactions of epidemics, evolution, and society.’
    • ‘Due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the events will mainly be staged online.’
    • ‘At the time of the 1918 flu epidemic, I was a student at the University of Wisconsin.’
    • ‘The COVID-19 epidemic is without precedent and has spread rapidly.’
    • ‘We've been through pandemics and epidemics before.’
    • ‘The nature of new epidemics is very often they come in waves.’
    • ‘For Victorians epidemics of yellow fever, cholera, smallpox and typhoid were an ever-present risk.’
    • ‘The coronavirus epidemic has put a temporary halt to some work.’
    • ‘I knew that we were facing an epidemic with which we were not familiar.’
    • ‘The epidemic is not over yet.’
    • ‘A devastating epidemic can start in any country.’
    • ‘The flu epidemic has hit almost every state in the US this winter.’
    • ‘Earlier this year, a severe bird flu epidemic in the southwest of the country led to import restrictions.’
    outbreak, plague, scourge, infestation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A sudden, widespread occurrence of an undesirable phenomenon.
      ‘an epidemic of violent crime’
      • ‘Every year there seems to be a new crime wave epidemic.’
      • ‘The unconstrained construction and development are all creating an epidemic of sinkholes.’
      • ‘The government has been warned there could be an epidemic of educational poverty.’
      • ‘These patterns are contributing to the nation's epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.’
      • ‘As I see it, there is an epidemic of bad business advice out there.’
      • ‘The stock market meltdown of the past year need not necessarily trigger an epidemic of spiraling inflation.’
      • ‘Those numbers show a systemic failure, an epidemic of deceit.’
      • ‘An epidemic of illegal downloading is threatening the livelihoods of artists and songwriters.’
      • ‘An epidemic of grief swamped the country.’
      • ‘An epidemic of world lawlessness was spreading.’
      • ‘The loneliness epidemic is a veritable public-health crisis.’
      • ‘The spam epidemic launched an explosion in legitimate products and services to help combat the problem.’
      • ‘In response to the growing crime epidemic, many states have passed laws related to identity theft.’
      • ‘Experts now recognise that increasingly sedentary lifestyles contribute greatly to the back pain epidemic in the western world.’
      • ‘Campaigners say they're facing a hard drugs epidemic.’
      spate, rash, wave, explosion, eruption, outbreak, outburst, flare-up, craze
      View synonyms

adjective

  • Of the nature of an epidemic.

    Compare with endemic, pandemic, epizootic

    ‘epidemic diseases’
    • ‘shoplifting has reached epidemic proportions’
    • ‘When a sickness reaches epidemic proportions, there is a frantic search for a cure.’
    • ‘Both companies have advised staff members to work from home due to epidemic concerns.’
    • ‘She decided to volunteer having seen how challenging it is for food banks to operate in epidemic conditions.’
    • ‘The country is close to reaching its goal of epidemic control.’
    • ‘The central government has allocated special funds for epidemic control and prevention.’
    • ‘Organisers of events which already have epidemic cover will be able to claim for cancellation due to the coronavirus.’
    • ‘Most companies will survive this epidemic crisis and will come out of it even stronger.’
    • ‘We continue to be very confident that we have reached the peak of the epidemic curve.’
    • ‘Social distancing will help flatten the epidemic curve.’
    • ‘The region is experiencing a new epidemic cycle of dengue.’
    • ‘The country is in the grip of epidemic disease.’
    • ‘Could we be entering some kind of new epidemic era?’
    • ‘I heard a podcast with an epidemic expert.’
    • ‘Household transmission is a major driver of epidemic growth.’
    • ‘He made a persuasive argument about the need to identify and stamp out epidemic hotspots.’
    • ‘The authorities are apprehensive about epidemic outbreaks.’
    • ‘The tool identifies diseases that pose a public health risk because of their epidemic potential.’
    • ‘Epidemic preparedness starts years before an outbreak.’
    • ‘We must never lower our guard regarding epidemic prevention.’
    • ‘Plastic waste has reached epidemic proportions.’
    rife, rampant, widespread, wide-ranging, extensive, sweeping, penetrating, pervading
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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’.