- exemption from taxation, searches, arrest, etc., enjoyed by diplomatic officials and their dependent families under international law, and usually on a reciprocal basis.
Origin of diplomatic immunity
First recorded in 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the immunity from local jurisdiction and exemption from taxation in the country to which they are accredited afforded to diplomats
Exemption of diplomats — ambassadors and other representatives of a foreign nation — from the laws of the nation to which they are assigned.
Foreign representatives have sometimes gone unpunished for serious crimes after claiming diplomatic immunity. The main purpose of diplomatic immunity, however, is to protect diplomats from harassment or arrest by their host government.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.