Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1600-1700
Language: French
Origin: épidémique, from Greek epidemos 'visiting'

epidemic

noun
     
Related topics: Illness and Disability
ep‧i‧dem‧ic [countable]
1MI a large number of cases of a disease that happen at the same time [↪ pandemic]:
Over 500 people died during last year's flu epidemic.
epidemic of
an epidemic of cholera
2 a sudden increase in the number of times that something bad happens
epidemic of
Britain is suffering an epidemic of petty crime.
epidemic adjective [only before noun]
Violent crime is reaching epidemic proportions in some cities.

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