from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Spreading rapidly and extensively by infection and affecting many individuals in an area or a population at the same time: an epidemic outbreak of influenza.
- adj. Widely prevalent: epidemic discontent.
- n. An outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads rapidly and widely.
- n. A rapid spread, growth, or development: an unemployment epidemic.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A widespread disease that affects many individuals in a population.
- n. An occurrence of a disease or disorder in a population at a frequency higher than that expected in a given time period.
- adj. Like or having to do with an epidemic; widespread
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Common to, or affecting at the same time, a large number in a community; -- applied to a disease which, spreading widely, attacks many persons at the same time; See endemic.
- adj. Spreading widely, or generally prevailing; affecting great numbers, as an epidemic does
- n. An epidemic disease.
- n. Anything which takes possession of the minds of people as an epidemic does of their bodies.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Common to or affecting a whole people or a great number in a community; generally diffused and prevalent.
- n. A temporary prevalence of a disease throughout a community: as, an epidemic of smallpox.
- n. The disease thus prevalent.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. (especially of medicine) of disease or anything resembling a disease; attacking or affecting many individuals in a community or a population simultaneously
- n. a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease; many people are infected at the same time
French épidémique, from épidémie, an epidemic, from Old French espydymie, from Medieval Latin epidēmia, from Greek epidēmiā, prevalence of an epidemic disease, from epidēmos, prevalent : epi-, epi- + dēmos, people; see dā- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French épidémique, from épidémie, from Latin epidemia, from Ancient Greek ἐπιδήμιος (epidēmios), from ἐπί (epi, "upon") + δῆμος (dēmos, "people"). (Wiktionary)