What does epidemic mean?

Definitions for epidemic

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word epidemic.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. epidemic(adj)

    a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease; many people are infected at the same time

  2. epidemic(adj)

    (especially of medicine) of disease or anything resembling a disease; attacking or affecting many individuals in a community or a population simultaneously

    "an epidemic outbreak of influenza"


  1. epidemic(Noun)

    A widespread disease that affects many individuals in a population.

  2. epidemic(Noun)

    An occurrence of a disease or disorder in a population at a frequency higher than that expected in a given time period.

  3. epidemic(Adjective)

    Like or having to do with an epidemic; widespread

    Epidemic hysteria occurred upon the incumbentu2019s reelection.

  4. Origin: From épidémique, from épidémie, from epidemia, from ἐπιδήμιος, from ἐπί + δῆμος.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Epidemic(adj)

    alt. of Epidemical

  2. Epidemic(noun)

    an epidemic disease

  3. Epidemic(noun)

    anything which takes possession of the minds of people as an epidemic does of their bodies; as, an epidemic of terror

  4. Origin: [Cf. Epidemy.]


  1. Epidemic

    In epidemiology, an epidemic occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience. Epidemiologists often consider the term outbreak to be synonymous to epidemic, but the general public typically perceives outbreaks to be more local and less serious than epidemics. Epidemics of infectious disease are generally caused by a change in the ecology of the host population, a genetic change in the parasite population or the introduction of a new parasite to a host population. Generally, an epidemic occurs when host immunity to a parasite population is suddenly reduced below that found in the endemic equilibrium and the transmission threshold is exceeded. An epidemic may be restricted to one location; however, if it spreads to other countries or continents and affects a substantial number of people, it may be termed a pandemic. The declaration of an epidemic usually requires a good understanding of a baseline rate of incidence; epidemics for certain diseases, such as influenza, are defined as reaching some defined increase in incidence above this baseline. A few cases of a very rare disease may be classified as an epidemic, while many cases of a common disease would not.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Epidemic

    -al, ep-i-dem′ik, -al, adj. affecting a community at a certain time: general.—n. Epidem′ic, a disease falling on great numbers in one place, simultaneously or in succession.—adv. Epidem′ically.—n. Epidemiol′ogy, the science of epidemics. [Gr. epidēmos, general—epi, among, dēmos, the people.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Epidemic

    a name given to contagious diseases which, arising suddenly in a community, rapidly spread through its members, often travelling from district to district, until often a whole country is affected; the theory of the transmission of disease by microbes has largely explained the spread of such scourges, but the part which atmospheric and other physical, and perhaps psychic, causes play in these disorders is still matter of debate, especially as regards epidemic mental diseases. See Endemic.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of epidemic in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of epidemic in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. George Bernard Shaw:

    A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.

  2. Sarah Brady:

    We are not for disarming people. When you have an epidemic it's a public health issue, a safety issue.

  3. Nancy Davis Reagan:

    Today, there is a drug and alcohol abuse epidemic in this country. And no one is safe from it-not you, not me and certainly not our children, because this epidemic has their names written on it.

  4. Michel Sidibe:

    We have a 5-year window of opportunity. If we miss this, we will have a rebound in this epidemic, we'll have resistance and we will not be able to control the epidemic and make sure that we end it by 2030.

  5. Staff Denis McDonough:

    We see a heroin epidemic, an opioid addiction epidemic, in this country, we're going to stay on top of this with our Mexican counterparts until we get that back in the box. But El Chapo's behind bars - that's where he should stay.

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"epidemic." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 27 Apr. 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/epidemic>.

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