[ ep-i-dem-ik ]
/ ˌɛp ɪˈdɛm ɪk /


Also ep·i·dem·i·cal. (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.
extremely prevalent; widespread.


a temporary prevalence of a disease.
a rapid spread or increase in the occurrence of something: an epidemic of riots.

Nearby words

  1. epicycloidal wheel,
  2. epicystitis,
  3. epicystotomy,
  4. epidaurus,
  5. epideictic,
  6. epidemic encephalitis,
  7. epidemic gastroenteritis virus,
  8. epidemic hemoglobinuria,
  9. epidemic hemorrhagic fever,
  10. epidemic keratoconjunctivitis

Origin of epidemic

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 formsep·i·dem·i·cal·ly, adverbep·i·de·mic·i·ty [ep-i-duh-mis-i-tee] /ˌɛp ɪ dəˈmɪs ɪ ti/, nounin·ter·ep·i·dem·ic, adjectivepre·ep·i·dem·ic, noun, adjective

Can be confusedendemic epidemic pandemic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for epidemicity

  • Dr. Kerr attributed this increase to exacerbation in the type, and epidemicity of the disease.

British Dictionary definitions for epidemicity


/ (ˌɛpɪˈdɛmɪk) /


(esp of a disease) attacking or affecting many persons simultaneously in a community or area


a widespread occurrence of a diseasean influenza epidemic
a rapid development, spread, or growth of something, esp something unpleasantan epidemic of strikes
Derived Formsepidemically, adverb

Word Origin for epidemic

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

Word Origin and History for epidemicity
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for epidemicity


[ ĕp′ĭ-də-mĭsĭ-tē ]


The ability to spread from one host to others; the state of being epidemic.


[ ĕp′ĭ-dĕmĭk ]


Spreading rapidly and extensively by infection and affecting many individuals in an area or population at the same time, as of a disease or illness.


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.

Science definitions for epidemicity


[ ĕp′ĭ-dĕmĭk ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for epidemicity


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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.