Opposite words


  • From French épizootique, animal equivalent of epidemic, from épizootie, irregularly formed from Ancient Greek ἐπί + ζῷον.
  • Surface analysis, epi- + zo-. Use of the word in the second sense, "an ailment", was likely originally a reference to a particular epizootic ailment. Both senses are attested since at least the 1800s, and the pronunciation with five syllables is explicitly attested since then as well. Dialectal pronunciation of the second sense with four syllables is attested since at least the 1910s in spellings like "epizudic" and is suggested by 1870s references to a shortened form of the word, "zooty".

Modern English dictionary

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