• WordNet 3.6
    • adj epidemic (especially of medicine) of disease or anything resembling a disease; attacking or affecting many individuals in a community or a population simultaneously "an epidemic outbreak of influenza"
    • n epidemic a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease; many people are infected at the same time
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Over 600,000 people died as a result of the Spanish influenza epidemic
    • Epidemic (Med) An epidemic disease.
    • Epidemic Anything which takes possession of the minds of people as an epidemic does of their bodies; as, an epidemic of terror.
    • Epidemic (Med) 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; as, an epidemic disease; an epidemic catarrh, fever, etc. See Endemic.
    • Epidemic Spreading widely, or generally prevailing; affecting great numbers, as an epidemic does; as, epidemic rage; an epidemic evil. "It was the epidemical sin of the nation."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: An animal epidemic is called an epizootic.
    • epidemic Common to or affecting a whole people or a great number in a community; generally diffused and prevalent. A disease is said to be epidemic in a community when it appears in a great number of cases at the same time in that locality, but is not permanently prevalent there. In the latter case it is said to be endemic.
    • n epidemic A temporary prevalence of a disease throughout a community: as, an epidemic of smallpox.
    • n epidemic The disease thus prevalent.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Iditarod Dogsled Race got its name from Iditarod, a small mining village along the race's route. The race commemorates an emergency operation in 1925 to get medical supplies to Nome, Alaska following a diphtheria epidemic.
    • adj Epidemic ep-i-dem′ik affecting a community at a certain time: general
    • n Epidemic a disease falling on great numbers in one place, simultaneously or in succession
    • ***


  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Enthusiasm is contagious. You can start an epidemic.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics.”
  • Carl Jung
    “Masses are always breeding grounds of psychic epidemics.”
  • Wallace Stevens
    “Thought is an infection. In the case of certain thoughts, it becomes an epidemic.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. epidemus, Gr. , , among the people, epidemic; in + people: cf. F. épidémique,. Cf. Demagogue
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. epidēmos, general—epi, among, dēmos, the people.


In literature:

An epidemic of sore eyes may be stopped by absolute "hand disinfection" and using separate towels.
"The Mother and Her Child" by William S. Sadler
At the grave of the dead man broke forth what can only be called an epidemic of healing.
"A Short History of England" by G. K. Chesterton
The epidemic of resignations had already set in, and there had been talk of a Liberal-Unionist Club.
"Clayhanger" by Arnold Bennett
It was amazing to note the sudden epidemic of caution upon the part of all concerned.
"In Africa" by John T. McCutcheon
To locate children who have enlarged tonsils may prevent a diphtheria epidemic.
"Civics and Health" by William H. Allen
It appears often in the epidemical form and spreads by contagion.
"The Eugenic Marriage, Volume IV. (of IV.)" by Grant Hague
The influence of the brave man is a magnetism which creates an epidemic of noble zeal in all about him.
"Architects of Fate" by Orison Swett Marden
Two weeks later an epidemic of typhoid broke out in the school, and three weeks later in the penitentiary.
"Preventable Diseases" by Woods Hutchinson
Arm in arm with Wilbur, his tie and his troubles, his epigrams and his Love Bungalow, sits an epidemic of clairvoyants.
"Erik Dorn" by Ben Hecht
About this time an epidemic of "flu" broke out in some of the villages.
"The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki" by Joel R. Moore

In poetry:

Since the last cholera epidemic
When his daughter was brusquely swept away
— It is just a year ago today
Captain Kio-tsu has greatly changed.
"Japan —Nagasaki" by Henry Jean-Marie Levet
What's tender conscience? — 'Tis a botch,
That will not bear the gentlest touch;
But breaking out, dispatches more
Than th' epidemical'st plague-sore.
"Hudibras: Part 3 - Canto I" by Samuel Butler
"Blades" tough and hearty a week ago,
Who tippled and danced and laughed,
Are "suddenly taken," and some quite low
With an epidemical illness, you know:
"What!--Zounds!--the cholera?" you quiz;--no--no--
The doctors call it the "Draft."
"The Draft" by Hanford Lennox Gordon

In news:

Hollywood's spin-doctor Mike Sitrick pays us a house call to talk about the recent epidemic of celebrity scandal.
Controlling the Typhoid Epidemic Plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa.
Controlling the Typhoid Epidemic Plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa .
'Downton Abbey' drew upon the Great War and the influenza epidemic for plot twists in its second season.
A new study adds to the debate about the role food advertising has in the childhood obesity epidemic.
A still-moribund economy, weak consumer demand at the front end of the store and an easing of the flu epidemic all combined to put the brakes on same-store sales momentum at Walgreens in the second quarter.
Swine Flu Epidemic Spurs Military to Join the Hunt for Plant-Based Alternatives.
Divorvce is at epidemic levels (70% of marriages fail today, compaired with 50% a few years ago).
S ummer is almost here, which means the Navajo Nation Veterinary and Livestock Program is once again bracing for an epidemic the Navajo Nation has managed to avoid for several years through, near as anybody can tell, sheer luck.
' Tinderbox : How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and the How the World Can Finally Overcome It' describes what spread the pandemic and what could rein it in.
'Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and the How the World Can Finally Overcome It' describes what spread the pandemic and what could rein it in.
' Tinderbox ': How The West Fueled The AIDS Epidemic.
Cyberbullying is an epidemic in the digital age.
With John Edwards in their sights, Republican spin doctors are railing against an epidemic of "lawsuit abuse" -- but the facts don't support the rhetoric.
Finally, some law enforcement officials are aggressively pursuing the copper wire theft epidemic that has shut off irrigation pumps at farms and darkened neighborhood street lights.

In science:

In the Leath method, a seed is placed on the site in the center of this box and the cluster is generated by epidemic spreading to their nearest neighbors with an infecting probability pc = 0.5927460 corresponding to site percolation in the square lattice.
II. Territory covered by N random walkers on stochastic fractals. The percolation aggregate
Newman, Epidemics and percolation in small-world networks, preprint. S.
Random spread on the family of small-world networks
Hence, an epidemic can be regarded as a graph: the nodes are the infected people and the links connect those who have been infected with their infectors.
Statistical ensemble of scale-free random graphs
We also describe two recent applications of random graph models to the problems of network robustness and of epidemics spreading on contact networks.
Random graphs as models of networks
Above this threshold, there exists a giant component for the percolation problem, whose size corresponds to the size of the epidemic.
Random graphs as models of networks