[ en-dem-ik ]
See synonyms for: endemicendemics on Thesaurus.com

adjectiveRarely en·dem·i·cal [en-dem-i-kuhl] /ɛnˈdɛm ɪ kəl/ .
  1. natural to or characteristic of a specific people or place; native; indigenous: The group is committed to preserving the endemic folkways of their nation.The recession hit especially hard in countries where high unemployment is endemic.

  2. belonging exclusively or confined to a particular place: When traveling, he caught a fever endemic to the tropics.

  1. (of a disease) persisting in a population or region, generally having settled to a relatively constant rate of occurrence:The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may never disappear, but could become endemic like the flu.

  1. an endemic disease.

Origin of endemic

First recorded in 1655–65; from New Latin endēmicus, equivalent to Greek éndēm(os) “dwelling in a place, native, (of disease) endemic” (from en- “within, in” + dêm(os) “people, district”) + Latin -icus adjective suffix; see en-2, deme, -ic

Other words from endemic

  • en·dem·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • en·de·mism [en-duh-miz-uhm], /ˈɛn dəˌmɪz əm/, en·de·mic·i·ty [en-duh-mis-i-tee], /ˌɛn dəˈmɪs ɪ ti/, noun
  • non·en·dem·ic, adjective
  • un·en·dem·ic, adjective

Words that may be confused with endemic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use endemic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for endemic


/ (ɛnˈdɛmɪk) /

adjectiveAlso: endemial (ɛnˈdɛmɪəl), endemical
  1. present within a localized area or peculiar to persons in such an area

  1. an endemic disease or plant

Origin of endemic

C18: from New Latin endēmicus, from Greek endēmos native, from en- ² + dēmos the people

Derived forms of endemic

  • endemically, adverb
  • endemism or endemicity, noun

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

Scientific definitions for endemic


[ ĕn-dĕmĭk ]

  1. Relating to a disease or pathogen that is found in or confined to a particular location, region, or people. Malaria, for example, is endemic to tropical regions. See also epidemic pandemic.

  2. Native to a specific region or environment and not occurring naturally anywhere else. The giant sequoia is endemic to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Compare alien indigenous.

usage For endemic

A disease that occurs regularly in a particular area, as malaria does in many tropical countries, is said to be endemic. The word endemic, built from the prefix en-, “in or within,” and the Greek word demos, “people,” means “within the people (of a region).” A disease that affects many more people than usual in a particular area or that spreads into regions in which it does not usually occur is said to be epidemic. This word, built from the prefix epi-, meaning “upon,” and demos, means “upon the people.” In order for a disease to become epidemic it must be highly contagious, that is, easily spread through a population. Influenza has been the cause of many epidemics throughout history. Epidemics of waterborne diseases such as cholera often occur after natural disasters such as earthquakes and severe storms that disrupt or destroy sanitation systems and supplies of fresh water.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.