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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Illness & disability
epidemicep‧i‧dem‧ic /ˌepəˈdemɪk◂/ ●●○ noun [countable]  1 MIa large number of cases of a disease that happen at the same timepandemic Over 500 people died during last year’s flu epidemic.epidemic of an epidemic of cholera2 INCREASE IN NUMBER OR AMOUNTa sudden increase in the number of times that something bad happensepidemic of Britain is suffering an epidemic of petty crime.epidemic adjective [only before noun] Violent crime is reaching epidemic proportions in some cities.
Examples from the Corpus
epidemicAIDS has become an epidemic in some countries.In an average year, about 35 babies suffer rubella damage, but an epidemic will normally claim about 70 victims.In the face of an epidemic which was sweeping away our friends and lovers, we sought help where we could.This exercise was carried out by a third year group in a secondary school studying a cholera epidemic.a cholera epidemicDoctors warn that a flu epidemic may be on the way.The decision came amidst continuing reports of severe malnutrition and health epidemics.In polio epidemics, rewards and punishments were dispensed with a random, devastating hand.The result: a temporary reduction of flies, but no halt in the polio epidemic.Alcohol abuse has reached epidemic proportions in this country.The recent epidemic of car thefts has been blamed on bored teenagers.Researchers studying epidemics in Chicago and Buffalo in the forties offered several theories.The epidemic had already taken a terrible toll in his country.epidemic ofThere has been a recent epidemic of car thefts.epidemic proportionsBy A.D. 54-5, militant activity had again assumed epidemic proportions.Worldwide sin is at epidemic proportions.Shoplifting has reached epidemic proportions and this gave rise to a lively discussion.The assertion that this has reached epidemic proportions can not be challenged.
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