Definition of sylvatic in US English:



Veterinary Medicine
  • Relating to or denoting certain diseases when contracted by wild animals, and the pathogens causing them.

    ‘an epidemic of sylvatic plague among prairie dogs’
    • ‘Diminished prairie dog populations now face the even greater catastrophe of sylvatic plague, an introduced contagious disease for which prairie dogs have little immunity.’
    • ‘It has been estimated that 30 000 cattle die annually in Brazil from RV infections, where sylvatic rabies is usually transmitted to cattle via a bite from a vampire bat.’
    • ‘They are one of the primary carriers of sylvatic rabies and thus can be very dangerous to pets and humans.’
    • ‘In addition to sylvatic plague, a disease likely brought from Europe by ship rats, prairie dogs have suffered from aggressive poisoning campaigns by farmers and ranchers.’
    • ‘Endangered black-footed ferrets are extremely susceptible to sylvatic plague, a disease that has seriously hampered efforts to re-establish ferrets to their historical range.’


1930s: from Latin silvaticus, from silva ‘wood’.