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[pan-dem-ik] /pænˈdɛm ɪk/
(of a disease) prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.
general; universal:
pandemic fear of atomic war.
a pandemic disease.
Origin of pandemic
1660-70; < Late Latin pandēm(us) < Greek pándēmos common, public (pan- pan- + dêm(os) the people + -os adj. suffix) + -ic
Related forms
[pan-dee-mee-uh] /pænˈdi mi ə/ (Show IPA),
[pan-duh-mis-i-tee] /ˌpæn dəˈmɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
interpandemic, adjective
Can be confused
endemic, epidemic, pandemic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pandemic
  • This could be the beginning of an influenza pandemic.
  • He is working to stop the next global pandemic before it starts.
  • The pandemic has spread throughout the world's oceans with devastating effects on these docile sea-dwelling reptiles.
  • The death toll would climb much higher in the event of a new global pandemic or bioterror attack.
  • This was certainly true of the plan drawn up over the past few years to combat an influenza pandemic.
  • What does a pandemic have to do with economic recovery? So far, the prospect of worldwide swine flu is causing market panics.
  • Top virologists have been appearing in Washington in recent weeks to sound the alarm about pandemic flu.
  • As part of the deal, the companies will form joint teams to oversee manufacturing and pandemic planning.
  • At the moment, the world's pandemic-alert system is distressingly secretive.
  • Health officials have warned that it could spark a pandemic, infecting millions of people.
British Dictionary definitions for pandemic


(of a disease) affecting persons over a wide geographical area; extensively epidemic
a pandemic disease
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin pandēmus, from Greek pandēmos general, from pan- + demos the 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 pandemic

1660s, from Late Latin pandemus, from Greek pandemos "pertaining to all people; public, common," from pan- "all" (see pan-) + demos "people" (see demotic). Modeled on epidemic. The noun is first recorded 1853, from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pandemic in Medicine

pandemic pan·dem·ic (pān-děm'ĭk)
Epidemic over a wide geographic area. n.
A pandemic disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pandemic in Science
An epidemic that spreads over a very wide area, such as an entire country or continent.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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pandemic in Culture

pandemic definition

A widespread epidemic affecting a large part of the population.

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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