AskDefine | Define endemic

Dictionary Definition

endemic adj
1 of or relating to a disease (or anything resembling a disease) constantly present to greater or lesser extent in a particular locality; "diseases endemic to the tropics"; "endemic malaria"; "food shortages and starvation are endemic in certain parts of the world" [syn: endemical] [ant: epidemic, ecdemic]
2 native to or confined to a certain region; "the islands have a number of interesting endemic species" [ant: cosmopolitan]
3 originating where it is found; "the autochthonal fauna of Australia includes the kangaroo"; "autochthonous rocks and people and folktales"; "endemic folkways"; "the Ainu are indigenous to the northernmost islands of Japan" [syn: autochthonal, autochthonic, autochthonous, indigenous]


1 a disease that is constantly present to a greater or lesser degree in people of a certain class or in people living in a particular location [syn: endemic disease]
2 a plant that is native to a certain limited area; "it is an endemic found only this island"

User Contributed Dictionary



From ἐν + δῆμος. Possibly via ἔνδημος and/or French endémique.


  • /ɛnˈdɛm.ɪk/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛmɪk


  1. Native to a particular area or culture; originating where it occurs.
    Kangaroos are endemic to Australia.
  2. Peculiar to a particular area or region; not found in other places.
    The endemic religion of Easter Island arrived with the Polynesian settlers.
  3. Prevalent in a particular area or region.
    Malaria is endemic to the tropics.

Usage notes

An endemic disease is one which is constantly present in a given area, though usually at low levels, whereas an epidemic is widespread and has a high incidence. A sporadic disease occurs now and then at low levels.


native to a particular area
  • Russian: эндемический
  • Spanish: endémico
peculiar to a particular area
prevalent in a particular area
  • Dutch: endemisch
  • Finnish: kotoperäinen, endeeminen
  • French: endémique
  • German: endemisch
  • Swedish: endemisk
  • Turkish: endemik


  1. An individual or species that is endemic to a region.
    California's flora includes many endemics.


native to a particular area
  • Russian: эндемик

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Endemic, in a broad sense, can mean "belonging" or "native to", "characteristic of", or "prevalent in" a particular geography, race, field, area, or environment; native to an area or scope.
It also has two specific meanings:
  • Endemism, an organism being "endemic" means exclusively native to a place or biota
  • Endemic (epidemiology), an infection is said to be "endemic" in a human population when that infection is maintained in the population without the need for external inputs.

See also

  • Endemism in birds, relates to the definitions of endemism for birds only.
  • Epizoology, the study of infection and disease patterns in animal populations.
  • Zoonosis, any infectious disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans
  • Epidemic
endemic in Afrikaans: Endemies
endemic in German: Endemisch
endemic in Spanish: Endémico
endemic in Dutch: Endemie

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abnormality, aboriginal, acute disease, affection, affliction, ailment, allergic disease, allergy, atrophy, autochthonous, bacterial disease, birth defect, blight, cardiovascular disease, catching, chronic disease, circulatory disease, communicable, complaint, complication, condition, congenital defect, contagious, defect, deficiency disease, deformity, degenerative disease, disability, disease, disorder, distemper, endemic disease, endocrine disease, epidemial, epidemic, epidemic disease, epiphytotic, epizootic, functional disease, fungus disease, gastrointestinal disease, genetic disease, handicap, hereditary disease, homebred, homegrown, iatrogenic disease, illness, indigenous, indisposition, infectious, infectious disease, infective, infirmity, inoculable, malady, malaise, morbidity, morbus, muscular disease, natal, native, native-born, neurological disease, nutritional disease, occupational disease, organic disease, original, pandemic, pandemic disease, pathological condition, pathology, pestiferous, pestilential, plant disease, primitive, protozoan disease, psychosomatic disease, respiratory disease, rockiness, secondary disease, seediness, sickishness, sickness, signs, sporadic, spreading, symptomatology, symptomology, symptoms, syndrome, taking, the pip, urogenital disease, vernacular, virus disease, wasting disease, worm disease, zymotic
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