[ en-dem-ik ]
/ ɛnˈdɛm ɪk /

adjective Also en·dem·i·cal.

natural to or characteristic of a specific people or place; native; indigenous: endemic folkways; countries where high unemployment is endemic.
belonging exclusively or confined to a particular place: a fever endemic to the tropics.


an endemic disease.

Origin of endemic

1655–65; < New Latin endēmicus, equivalent to Greek éndēm(os) endemic (en- en-2 + dêm(os) people + -os adj. suffix) + Latin -icus -ic


en·dem·i·cal·ly, adverben·de·mism [en-duh-miz-uh m] /ˈɛn dəˌmɪz əm/, en·de·mic·i·ty [en-duh-mis-i-tee] /ˌɛn dəˈmɪs ɪ ti/, nounnon·en·dem·ic, adjectiveun·en·dem·ic, adjective


endemic epidemic pandemic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for endemism

British Dictionary definitions for endemism

/ (ɛnˈdɛmɪk) /

adjective Also: endemial (ɛnˈdɛmɪəl), endemical

present within a localized area or peculiar to persons in such an area


an endemic disease or plant

Derived forms of endemic

endemically, adverbendemism or endemicity, noun

Word Origin for endemic

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

Medical definitions for endemism

[ ĕn-dĕmĭk ]


Prevalent in or restricted to a particular region, community, or group of people. Used of a disease.

Other words from endemic

en•demi•cal•ly adv.en•demism n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for endemism

[ ĕn-dĕmĭk ]

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.
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.


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.