Word of the DaySaturday, July 17, 2004
\pan-DEM-ik\ , adjective;
Affecting a whole people or a number of countries; everywhere epidemic.
Believed to have originated in India in ancient times before first ravaging the Roman world as early as A.D. 165, since then it [smallpox] had scourged humanity in what amounted to a permanent pandemic, causing incalculable loss of life and misery through morbidity and disfigurement.
-- Frank Ryan M.D., Virus X
Within a decade, half a million had perished. Nobody guessed that such a rare disease would become a pandemic.
-- Steve Jones, Darwin's Ghost
TV, in particular, spreads the common culture to the far corners of the world; it is a kind of global pandemic, but it spreads at a speed that makes the old plagues and pandemics unbearably slow.
-- Lawrence M. Friedman, The Horizontal Society
Pandemic ultimately derives from Greek pandemos, "of all the people," from pan-, "all" + demos, "people."
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