[ ep-i-dee-mee-ol-uh-jee, -dem-ee- ]
/ ˌɛp ɪˌdi miˈɒl ə dʒi, -ˌdɛm i- /


the branch of medicine dealing with the incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations and with detection of the source and cause of epidemics of infectious disease.

Nearby words

  1. epidemic pleurodynia virus,
  2. epidemic polyarthritis,
  3. epidemic roseola,
  4. epidemic typhus,
  5. epidemicity,
  6. epidemy,
  7. epidendrum,
  8. epidermal cyst,
  9. epidermal ridge,
  10. epidermalization

Origin of epidemiology

First recorded in 1870–75; epidemi(c) + -o- + -logy

Related formsep·i·de·mi·o·log·i·cal [ep-i-dee-mee-uh-loj-i-kuh l, -dem-ee-] /ˌɛp ɪˌdi mi əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl, -ˌdɛm i-/, adjectiveep·i·de·mi·o·log·i·cal·ly, adverbep·i·de·mi·ol·o·gist, noun

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

Examples from the Web for epidemiology

British Dictionary definitions for epidemiology


/ (ˌɛpɪˌdiːmɪˈɒlədʒɪ) /


the branch of medical science concerned with the occurrence, transmission, and control of epidemic diseases
Derived Formsepidemiological (ˌɛpɪˌdiːmɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectiveepidemiologically, adverbepidemiologist, 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

Word Origin and History for epidemiology



"study of epidemics," 1873, from Greek epidemios "epidemic" (see epidemic) + -logy. Related: Epidemiological; epidemiologist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for epidemiology


[ ĕp′ĭ-dē′mē-ŏlə-jē, -dĕm′ē- ]


The branch of medicine that deals with the study of the causes, distribution, and control of disease in populations.
Related formsep′i•de′mi•olo•gist n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for epidemiology


[ ĕp′ĭ-dē′mē-ŏlə-jē ]

The scientific study of the causes, distribution, and control of disease in populations.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.