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epidemic
used in Moby Dick

3 uses
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Definition
a widespread outbreak of a disease that is passed from one person (or other organism) to another

or more rarely:  anything that spreads quickly — especially something bad
  • It turned out that the Jeroboam had a malignant epidemic on board, and that Mayhew, her captain, was fearful of infecting the Pequod's company.
    Chapters 70-72 -- The Sphynx; The Jeroboam's Story; The Monkey-Rope (23% in)
  • The consequence of all this was, that the archangel cared little or nothing for the captain and mates; and since the epidemic had broken out, he carried a higher hand than ever; declaring that the plague, as he called it, was at his sole command; nor should it be stayed but according to his good pleasure.
    Chapters 70-72 -- The Sphynx; The Jeroboam's Story; The Monkey-Rope (39% in)
  • "I fear not thy epidemic, man," said Ahab from the bulwarks, to Captain Mayhew, who stood in the boat's stern; "come on board."
    Chapters 70-72 -- The Sphynx; The Jeroboam's Story; The Monkey-Rope (41% in)

There are no more uses of "epidemic" in Moby Dick.

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