Definition of PANDEMIC


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pan·​dem·​ic | pan-ˈde-mikHow to pronounce pandemic (audio)

: occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population pandemic malaria The 1918 flu was pandemic and claimed millions of lives.


nounpan·​dem·​ic | pan-ˈde-mikHow to pronounce pandemic (audio)

: an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population : a pandemic outbreak of a disease

Frequently Asked Questions About pandemic More Example Sentences Learn More about pandemic

Noun … globalization, the most thoroughgoing socioeconomic upheaval since the Industrial Revolution, which has set off a pandemic of retrogressive nationalism, regional separatism, and religious extremism. — Martin Filler, New York Review of Books, 24 Sept. 2009 … it also hopes to utilize this cultural investigation to better understand strategies to reduce the massive pandemic we now understand cigarette smoking to produce. — Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007 There is evidence that this gambling pandemic is going global. — Gerri Hirshey, New York Times Magazine, 17 July 1994 In ten years that it raged, this pandemic took or ravaged the lives of nearly five million people before it disappeared, as mysteriously and suddenly as it had arrived, in 1927. — Oliver Sacks, Awakenings, 1973 The 1918 flu pandemic claimed millions of lives.

See MoreRecent Examples on the Web: Adjective The availability of tests and test kits has been a critical problem with the administration’spandemicresponse since the beginning. —Amy Goldstein,, “Trump administration vows to distribute 100 million swabs to states by year’s end,” 24 May 2020Several city businesses closed during thepandemicmeasures. —William Thornton |, al, “Cities, counties struggling with loss of revenue, need for services,” 24 May 2020Last week, the World Health Organization’s top official in Burundi was kicked out amid concerns about thepandemicresponse. —The Christian Science Monitor, “Burundi holds high-stakes presidential election amid virus,” 21 May 2020The Trump administration has been accused of failing to show global leadership during thepandemicresponse. —Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, “Trump wants to host G-7 leaders at Camp David in sign of ‘normalization’,” 20 May 2020The public has seen his government as slow and out of touch in itspandemicresponse, surveys have showed, and the virus has shaken the finances of households and businesses. —Jon Herskovitz,, “Support for Japan’s Abe at Two-Year Low Over Virus, Prosecutor Bill,” 19 May 2020Leaning on the evidence If humans didn’t insist on being quite so messily human,pandemicresponse would be much simpler. —Cathleen O’grady, Ars Technica, “Humans are complicated—do we need behavioral science to get through this?,” 16 May 2020Tom Frieden, who directed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the 2014 Ebola outbreak and now spearheads Resolve to Save Lives, a health initiative focussed on globalpandemicresponse, said. —Jina Moore, The New Yorker, “What African Nations Are Teaching the West About Fighting the Coronavirus,” 15 May 2020The public face of the federalpandemicresponse since then has been the White House Coronavirus Task Force chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. —Popular Science, “We have the tools to contain COVID-19 misinformation, we just aren’t using them,” 14 May 2020Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Samuel Aranda for The New York Times This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronaviruspandemic. —Raphael Minder, New York Times, “José María Galante, Dogged Pursuer of Justice for Franco’s Victims, Dies at 71,” 27 May 2020In thispandemic, a new openness about talking about mental health issues could help. —Olivia B. Waxman, Time, “‘Not Priests, Nor Crosses, Nor Bells.’ The Tragic History of How Pandemics Have Disrupted Mourning,” 27 May 2020Bryan Hammons faced a difficult choice over whether to keep his St. Petersburg, Fla., plumbing business open during thepandemic. —Anne Michaud, WSJ, “After Working Through Lockdown, This Plumber’s Safety Protocols Are Now Standard,” 27 May 2020While golf lends itself to a game that can be played during thepandemic, there were a few little changes. —Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, “Golf returns to Crooked Stick, and John Daly II walks in dad’s footsteps,” 27 May 2020The theory helps explain the increased popularity of leaders around the world during thispandemic. —Hemant Kakkar, Scientific American, “Why Trump’s Popularity Surge Faded So Quickly,” 27 May 2020Ronald McDonald House of Eastern Wisconsin decided early on in thepandemicto limit the number of guests who could stay there. —Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “After facing tough setbacks, here’s how these area nonprofits are changing how they operate during the coronavirus pandemic,” 26 May 2020The antiviral drug remdesivir has emerged as one of just a few options doctors have to treat the sickest COVID-19 patients, but nearly a month after federal regulators fast-tracked its use in thepandemic, its availability remains scarce. —Lauren Caruba,, “With coronavirus treatment drug still in short supply, San Antonio hospitals confront rationing it to patients,” 26 May 2020It has been amplified especially by Republicans as President Donald Trump has sought to blame China as the main culprit in the coronaviruspandemic. —David Westin,, “Pelosi Says House Will Review Bill to Delist Chinese Companies,” 26 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘pandemic.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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