Definition of pandemic in US English:

pandemic

adjective

  • (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world.

    • ‘Mr Abbott today announced that the government would speed up funding for research into pandemic influenza.’
    • ‘The effectiveness of antivirals in the treatment of pandemic influenza is unclear.’
    • ‘Film has become a pandemic obsession throughout our culture and even throughout the world.’
    • ‘The idea that this flu could reach pandemic proportions is a chilling thought.’
    • ‘They appear to have reached pandemic status within urban areas and a cull is long overdue.’
    • ‘Sars has revealed much about the way a pandemic illness can affect modern society - with massive consequences.’
    • ‘Most topical is the risk of pandemic influenza, which seems to be the highest in three decades.’
    • ‘The Department of Health will also announce its revised pandemic flu contingency plan this week.’
    • ‘Even if nations vaccinate their entire populations, they will not remain immune to the pandemic shock.’
    • ‘The factors involved in the genesis of each pandemic virus are probably different.’
    • ‘History has shown that pandemic strains of influenza viruses emerge as reassortants of human and avian viruses.’
    • ‘But pandemic influenza, appearing every few decades, has much more devastating consequences.’
    • ‘It is not our principles that have spawned pandemic hatred of America in the Islamic world.’
    • ‘It depends on what percentage of the population gets a pandemic flu strain.’
    • ‘The arrival of a pandemic influenza would trigger a reaction that would change the world overnight.’
    • ‘Imagine if you will you were a government which was aware of a global pandemic flu in the offing.’
    • ‘It is a remarkable achievement which increases Britain's ability to cope with pandemic flu, should it happen.’
    • ‘So why have British health authorities decided to launch a pandemic flu panic in Britain?’
    • ‘Companies should prepare for a pandemic flu the way they would for a blizzard.’
    • ‘This argues for the need to look at other ways to respond to a new flu strain which has pandemic potential.’
    widespread, prevalent, pervasive, rife, rampant, epidemic
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noun

  • An outbreak of a pandemic disease.

    • ‘It is a small effort worth making if we want to avoid a descent into widespread anarchy, terrorism, pandemics of global disease, and other avoidable calamities.’
    • ‘This poses the threat as external to France, in the same way that immigration, organised crime, disease pandemics and global warming are all feared as terrible external threats.’
    • ‘The European settling of the Americas brought disease pandemics to the Native Americans that nearly eliminated them as an ethnic classification.’
    • ‘Women also face severe constraints because of outbreak of pandemics like HIV / AIDS and other diseases.’
    • ‘Since the start of the pandemic two decades ago, 17 million Africans have died of it.’
    • ‘It will say that if a widely anticipated European flu pandemic hits, unhygienic doctors will contribute to the spread of the virus.’
    • ‘Is the Canadian plan to deal with the bird flu pandemic similar to that outlined by the president today?’
    • ‘Two highly contagious enteroviruses are known to cause epidemics and pandemics of acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis.’
    • ‘Last year, following a simulated exercise, the Ministry of Health developed a national pandemic plan.’
    • ‘Humans have lived with influenza viruses for centuries and we thought we knew all about their inter-host transmissions, antigenic shift, drift, epidemics, pandemics and vaccines.’
    • ‘Scotland will be hit by a deadly strain of the bird flu virus within three weeks of a pandemic starting in Asia, Scotland's top doctor has warned.’
    • ‘In countries afflicted by epidemics and pandemics like HIV / AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, growth and development will be threatened until these scourges can be contained.’
    • ‘It is to be hoped that they are available before the next pandemic strikes.’
    • ‘There is, however, going to be another influenza pandemic some time soon.’
    • ‘In the case of the avian flu pandemic threat, millions of lives are potentially at stake.’
    • ‘Influenza epidemics and pandemics spread rapidly causing a high degree of morbidity and mortality.’
    • ‘Don't expect to be able to buy most of these things when the pandemic starts.’
    • ‘Influenza viruses cause frequent epidemics and periodic pandemics throughout the world due to antigenic variations.’
    • ‘Let's hope that this virus does not mutate and create a worldwide pandemic this winter.’
    • ‘Influenza pandemics are global outbreaks that emerge infrequently and unpredictably and involve strains of virus to which humans have little or no immunity.’
    disease, sickness
    View synonyms

Usage

On the difference between pandemic, endemic, and epidemic, see epidemic

Origin

Mid 17th century: from Greek pandēmos (from pan ‘all’ + dēmos ‘people’) + -ic.

Pronunciation

pandemic

/pænˈdɛmɪk//panˈdemik/