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epidemic

[ep-i-dem-ik] /ˌɛp ɪˈdɛm ɪk/
adjective
1.
Also, epidemical. (of a disease) affecting many persons at the same time, and spreading from person to person in a locality where the disease is not permanently prevalent.
2.
extremely prevalent; widespread.
noun
3.
a temporary prevalence of a disease.
4.
a rapid spread or increase in the occurrence of something:
an epidemic of riots.
Origin of epidemic
1595-1605
1595-1605; obsolete epidem(y) (< Late Latin epidēmia < Greek epidēmía staying in one place, among the people, equivalent to epi- epi- + dêm(os) people of a district + -ia -y3) + -ic
Related forms
epidemically, adverb
epidemicity
[ep-i-duh-mis-i-tee] /ˌɛp ɪ dəˈmɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun
interepidemic, adjective
preepidemic, noun, adjective
Can be confused
endemic, epidemic, pandemic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for epidemical

epidemic

/ˌɛpɪˈdɛmɪk/
adjective
1.
(esp of a disease) attacking or affecting many persons simultaneously in a community or area
noun
2.
a widespread occurrence of a disease: an influenza epidemic
3.
a rapid development, spread, or growth of something, esp something unpleasant: an epidemic of strikes
Derived Forms
epidemically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from French épidémique, via Late Latin from Greek epidēmia literally: among the people, from epi- + dēmos people
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for epidemical

epidemic

adj.

c.1600, from French épidémique, from épidemié "an epidemic disease," from Medieval Latin epidemia, from Greek epidemia "prevalence of an epidemic disease" (especially the plague), from epi "among, upon" (see epi-) + demos "people, district" (see demotic).

n.

1757, from epidemic (adj.); earlier epideme (see epidemy). An Old English noun for this (persisting in Middle English) was man-cwealm.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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epidemical in Medicine

epidemic ep·i·dem·ic (ěp'ĭ-děm'ĭk) or ep·i·dem·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
adj.
Spreading rapidly and extensively by infection and affecting many individuals in an area or a population at the same time, as of a disease or illness. n.
An outbreak or unusually high occurrence of a disease or illness in a population or area.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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epidemical in Science
epidemic
  (ěp'ĭ-děm'ĭk)   
An outbreak of a disease or illness that spreads rapidly among individuals in an area or population at the same time. See also endemic, pandemic.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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epidemical in Culture

epidemic definition


A contagious disease that spreads rapidly and widely among the population in an area. Immunization and quarantine are two of the methods used to control an epidemic.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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