from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The branch of medicine that deals with the study of the causes, distribution, and control of disease in populations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The branch of a science dealing with the spread and control of diseases, computer viruses, concepts etc. throughout populations or systems.
  • n. The epidemiological body of knowledge about a particular thing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That branch of medicine which studies the incidence and distribution of disease in a population, and uses such information to find the causes, modes of transmission, and methods for control of disease.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The science of epidemics; the sum of human knowledge concerning epidemic diseases.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the branch of medical science dealing with the transmission and control of disease


Medieval Latin epidēmia, an epidemic; see epidemic + -logy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin epidemia + οlogy, from Ancient Greek επιδημία (epidemia) + λόγος (logos), from επί (upon) and δήμος (people) (disease upon people and theory). See also epidemic. (Wiktionary)



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  • According to Chris Cole in Wordplay, the shortest seven-syllable word.

    June 1, 2008