Definition of systemic in US English:



  • 1Relating to a system, especially as opposed to a particular part.

    ‘the disease is localized rather than systemic’
    • ‘The test detects low levels of a protein that indicates systemic inflammation in the body.’
    • ‘Blind review is not the answer - the problem is far more systemic.’
    • ‘It is a systemic, chronic failure of management right across the totality of the agency.’
    • ‘I think that's one of the systemic problems that we have dealing with corporate responsibility in America right now.’
    • ‘Similarly, parents in this study reported that systemic therapy encouraged them to recognize their own contribution to family problems.’
    • ‘We need to explore personal, family, community and systemic barriers that stand in the way of understanding and preventing suicides.’
    • ‘Skin lesions are identical to those seen in systemic small vessel vasculitis.’
    • ‘Several forms of systemic therapy exist for psoriasis.’
    • ‘Have Aboriginal people changed, or is the problem systemic?’
    • ‘Some patients may temporarily lapse into a vegetative state when systemic illness causes a reversible depression of the neural function.’
    • ‘This is precisely why punitive taxation, while unfair in the short term, is fair in the long run - it will force a deeper, systemic change in the way we organise our city.’
    • ‘Charges stemming from arguing with guards are systemic.’
    • ‘Instead he highlights a series of systemic problems and suggests a number of psychological tendencies, to explain the vast gulf between claim and reality.’
    • ‘More rarely, systemic vasculitis or other immunologic diseases have been observed.’
    • ‘We are attempting to use examples of media bias to raise awareness of the deep systemic corruption afflicting the media.’
    • ‘And we have found systemic, serious problems in the way our intelligence community has acted over time.’
    • ‘And that's one of the reasons that I think we need real systemic reform, so that the checks and balances are in place.’
    • ‘Yet in each instance, the flaw is singular, not systemic, and goes against things Leonardo demonstrated he knew very well in his other work.’
    • ‘But we have a real systemic problem on our hands.’
    • ‘This is a systemic failure and most of the civilian leadership of the Pentagon is implicated, either by omission or comission.’
    constructional, organizational, constitutional, configurational, formational
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  • 2Physiology
    Denoting the part of the circulatory system concerned with the transportation of oxygen to and carbon dioxide from the body in general, especially as distinct from the pulmonary part concerned with the transportation of oxygen from and carbon dioxide to the lungs.

    • ‘Therefore the pulmonary and systemic circulations are in parallel and a communication between the two is needed.’
    • ‘Aortograms are performed in order to define the systemic blood supply and venous drainage.’
    • ‘Even a minute difference between the outputs, if sustained, would very rapidly empty either the pulmonary or the systemic circulation.’
    • ‘A single great artery leaves the heart and gives rise to the coronary, pulmonary, and systemic arterial circulation.’
    • ‘Adequate fluid replacement is the initial step in restoring cardiac index and systemic oxygen delivery to injured tissues.’
  • 3(of an insecticide, fungicide, or similar substance) entering the plant via the roots or shoots and passing through the tissues.

    • ‘Most of the newer, systemic fungicides fall into this group.’
    • ‘Spray with Confidor which is a slightly systemic insecticide.’
    • ‘The seeds become infected internally and must be treated with a systemic fungicide to eliminate the pathogen.’
    • ‘Once a grower stops using systemic insecticides, the beetle could cause significant damage.’
    • ‘Use a systemic fungicide seed treatment to eliminate this pathogen from infected seed.’
    • ‘The flies' hit-and-run tactics also protect them from lethal exposure to cattle sprays or systemic insecticides.’
    • ‘The new compound is a strobilurin, a class of systemic fungicide that has gained wide acceptance in the turf industry.’
    • ‘In case of severe infestation spray any systemic insecticide and acaricide for mites along with neem oil.’
    • ‘The active ingredient in both is imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide that has been used in other crops such as sorghum.’
    • ‘Many growers are using imadacloprid, a new systemic insecticide that provides excellent control.’
    • ‘The universal use of systemic fungicides would eliminate smut and bunt diseases as problems to wheat growers.’
    • ‘Applying a granular soil systemic insecticide at planting time provides early season greenbug control.’
    • ‘Either contact or systemic insecticides will take care of these insects.’
    • ‘Chemical control is with the use of a systemic insecticide but a better idea is to cut off all the new foliage to prevent the nymphs from maturing and laying another batch of eggs.’
    • ‘It can't remove the systemic pesticides which are an integral part of the flesh.’
    • ‘The most common example of a systemic fungicide used in soybeans is Apron which is active only against Pythium and Phytophthora.’
    • ‘Then a systemic fungicide should be sprayed on the infected plants.’
    • ‘Seed treated with systemic insecticides have shown yield increases.’


Early 19th century: formed irregularly from system + -ic.