(of a disease) prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.
general; universal: pandemic fear of atomic war.


a pandemic disease.

Origin of pandemic

1660–70; < Late Latin pandēm(us) < Greek pándēmos common, public (pan- pan- + dêm(os) the people + -os adj. suffix) + -ic
Related formspan·de·mi·a [pan-dee-mee-uh] /pænˈdi mi ə/, nounpan·de·mic·i·ty [pan-duh-mis-i-tee] /ˌpæn dəˈmɪs ɪ ti/, nounin·ter·pan·dem·ic, adjective
Can be confusedendemic epidemic pandemic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pandemic

Contemporary Examples of pandemic

Historical Examples of pandemic

British Dictionary definitions for pandemic



(of a disease) affecting persons over a wide geographical area; extensively epidemic


a pandemic disease

Word Origin for pandemic

C17: from Late Latin pandēmus, from Greek pandēmos general, from pan- + demos 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

Word Origin and History for pandemic

1660s, from Late Latin pandemus, from Greek pandemos "pertaining to all people; public, common," from pan- "all" (see pan-) + demos "people" (see demotic). Modeled on epidemic. The noun is first recorded 1853, from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pandemic in Medicine




Epidemic over a wide geographic area.


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

pandemic in Science



An epidemic that spreads over a very wide area, such as an entire country or continent.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

pandemic in Culture


A widespread epidemic affecting a large part of the population.

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.