[ si-stem-ik ]
See synonyms for systemic on
  1. of or relating to a system, especially when affecting the entirety of a thing: systemic flaws in the design and construction of the vehicles.

  2. relating to or noting a policy, practice, or set of beliefs that has been established as normative or customary throughout a political, social, or economic system: systemic inequality;systemic racism.

  1. Physiology, Pathology.

    • relating to or affecting the body as a whole.

    • relating to or affecting a particular body system.

  2. (of a pesticide) absorbed and circulated by a plant or other organism so as to be lethal to pests that feed on it.

Origin of systemic

First recorded in 1795–1805; system + -ic

Other words from systemic

  • sys·tem·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • non·sys·tem·ic, adjective

Words that may be confused with systemic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use systemic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for systemic


/ (sɪˈstɛmɪk, -ˈstiː-) /

  1. physiol (of a poison, disease, etc) affecting the entire body

  1. (of a pesticide, fungicide, etc) spreading through all the parts of a plant and making it toxic to pests or parasites without destroying it

  1. a systemic pesticide, fungicide, etc

Derived forms of systemic

  • systemically, adverb

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