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ep·i·dem·ic(ĕp′ĭ-dĕm′ĭk) also ep·i·dem·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
1. 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.
2. Widely prevalent: epidemic discontent.
1. An outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads rapidly and widely.
2. A rapid spread, growth, or development: an unemployment epidemic.
[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.]