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immunity

[ih-myoo-ni-tee]
See more synonyms for immunity on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural im·mu·ni·ties.
  1. the state of being immune from or insusceptible to a particular disease or the like.
  2. the condition that permits either natural or acquired resistance to disease.
  3. the ability of a cell to react immunologically in the presence of an antigen.
  4. exemption from any natural or usual liability.
  5. exemption from obligation, service, duty, or liability to taxation, jurisdiction, etc.: The ambassador claimed diplomatic immunity when they arrested him for reckless driving.
  6. Law. exemption from criminal prosecution or legal liability or punishment on certain conditions.
  7. special privilege.
  8. Ecclesiastical.
    1. the exemption of ecclesiastical persons and things from secular or civil liabilities, duties, and burdens.
    2. a particular exemption of this kind.
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Origin of immunity

1350–1400; Middle English immunite < Latin immūnitās. See immune, -ity
Related formshy·per·im·mu·ni·ty, nounnon·im·mu·ni·ty, noun, plural non·im·mu·ni·ties.self-im·mu·ni·ty, noun, plural self·-im·mu·ni·ties.
Can be confusedimmunity impunity

Synonyms

See more synonyms for immunity on Thesaurus.com
4. See exemption. 5. franchise, license, liberty, prerogative.

Antonyms

1. susceptibility. 4, 5. liability.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for immunity

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • One must, it seems, be young to enjoy this nineteenth-century immunity.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • After the Austrian war, an act of “immunity” was passed, in his behalf.

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

  • A billion dollars and immunity to cut off the outer dome of force.

    Invasion

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • Is it not a feature of our age that none can claim privilege nor immunity?

    Gerald Fitzgerald

    Charles James Lever

  • How many a coward stab would be given in the shadow of that immunity!

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever


British Dictionary definitions for immunity

immunity

noun plural -ties
  1. the ability of an organism to resist disease, either through the activities of specialized blood cells or antibodies produced by them in response to natural exposure or inoculation (active immunity) or by the injection of antiserum or the transfer of antibodies from a mother to her baby via the placenta or breast milk (passive immunity)See also acquired immunity, natural immunity
  2. freedom from obligation or duty, esp exemption from tax, duty, legal liability, etc
  3. any special privilege granting immunity
  4. the exemption of ecclesiastical persons or property from various civil obligations or liabilities
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for immunity

n.

late 14c., "exempt from service or obligation," from Old French immunité and directly from Latin immunitatem (nominative immunitas) "exemption from performing public service or charge," from immunis "exempt, free," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + munis "performing services" (cf. municipal), from PIE *moi-n-es-, suffixed form of root *mei- "to change" (see mutable). Medical sense "protection from disease" is 1879, from French or German.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

immunity in Medicine

immunity

(ĭ-myōōnĭ-tē)
n.
  1. The quality or condition of being immune.
  2. Inherited, acquired, or induced resistance to infection by a specific pathogen.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

immunity in Science

immunity

[ĭ-myōōnĭ-tē]
  1. The protection of the body from a disease caused by an infectious agent, such as a bacterium or virus. Immunity may be natural (that is, inherited) or acquired. See also acquired immunity.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

immunity in Culture

immunity

The ability of the body to resist or fight off infection and disease.

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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.