Definition of epizootic in English:



  • (of a disease) temporarily prevalent and widespread in an animal population.

    ‘epizootic, endemic, and contagious diseases’
    Compare with enzootic, epidemic
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It occurs most frequently as an epizootic or enzootic disease of herbivores that acquire spores from direct contact with contaminated soil.’
    rife, rampant, widespread, wide-ranging, extensive, sweeping, penetrating, pervading
    View synonyms


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