Definition of epizootic in English:



  • Denoting or relating to a disease that is temporarily prevalent and widespread in an animal population.

    ‘epizootic diseases in domestic livestock’
    • ‘If a commercial breed were to be hit by a devastating epizootic disease, the genes of a hardy rare breed could be used to help re-establish the immunity of a commercial one.’
    • ‘Our results show distinctive and predictable temporal patterning to epizootic rabies occurring among raccoons at the level of counties.’
    • ‘Transport to the nearest high-risk material processing plant of animals infected or suspected of being infected with an epizootic disease is rejected because of the danger of propagation of health risks.’
    • ‘It occurs most frequently as an epizootic or enzootic disease of herbivores that acquire spores from direct contact with contaminated soil.’
    • ‘‘To date, our country has remained vigilant and successful in keeping out many epizootic diseases that have occurred in some parts of the SADC region,’ said the head of state.’
    rife, rampant, widespread, wide-ranging, extensive, sweeping, penetrating, pervading
    View synonyms


  • An outbreak of an epizootic disease.

    ‘a global epizootic of H5N1 bird flu’
    • ‘In 1985 the last wild population experienced simultaneous epizootics of canine distemper and sylvatic plague.’
    • ‘Several epizootics have been associated with elevated contaminant exposure.’
    • ‘Several epizootics in wildlife have been associated with elevated exposure to contaminants.’
    • ‘That is, epizootics, such as outbreaks of cattle plague or foot and mouth disease, repeatedly have wreaked economic havoc without making people sick.’
    • ‘Dynamics of periodic disease epizootics, low reproductive rates, and avian dispersal may contribute to rarity in many Hawaiian forest bird species.’


Late 18th century (as an adjective): from French épizootique, from épizootie, from Greek epi ‘upon’ + zōion ‘animal’.