I'm trying to come up with an noun that communicates a widespread problem. Namely, the fact that 1 person has such a problem isn't a bad thing, but the fact that so many people have this problem is the issue.

I've come up with pandemic, but a pandemic is a huge problem that is also widespread.

What's the word for a little problem that is made big because it is widespread?

  • Prevalent: Widespread in a particular area or a particular time. Insidious: Proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects. – Joe Dark Oct 28 '14 at 18:16


This problem has become rampant.

  • This is exactly what I was looking for. – Nathan Merrill Oct 28 '14 at 19:03

Pervasive (Dictionary.com)

spread throughout

Pervasive is generally used in a negative sense, but not always.


You'd have to work with it since it's a verb, but the word snowball fits the description of a small thing that rapidly increases in both size and importance.


The problem has become epidemic.

  • Welcome to EL&U. Your answer would be improved if you could provide an explanation or examples of how epidemic would be used, including any suitable references. I encourage you to review the help center for further guidance. – choster Oct 28 '14 at 20:18

This is a person that I would describe as one who has issues.

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