• endemic •
en-dem-ic • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: Associated with a particular region or area, native to a particular area or region.
Notes: As the pandemic winds down, variations in the coronavirus make it look as though it may become endemic to America (and many other countries). The adjective is endemic or endemical, but you must use the latter for the adverb: endemically. The noun is endemicity.
In Play: This word is usually associated with diseases, but its reach goes far beyond diseases: "Mountain Laurel is endemic to the Appalachian Mountains." It even reaches farther than species: "Endemic corruption plagues most governments to a greater or lesser extent."
Word History: Endemic was based on Classical Greek endemos "native", composed of en- "in(to)" + demos "people" + -ic, an adjective suffix. It contains a combination that we also see in democratic and demotic "of ordinary people, vulgar", as in 'demotic Greek' "spoken Greek". It also produced Greek daimon "deity", which Latin borrowed for its daemon "spirit", which made it into English as demon. Most etymologists connect demos with PIE da-mos, a suffixed form of da- "divide, share". With the suffix -los, i. e. da-los, it became Russian delit' "to divide" and German Teil "part".
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