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immunize

[ im-yuh-nahyz, ih-myoo-nahyz ]
/ 藞瑟m y蓹藢na瑟z, 瑟藞myu na瑟z /
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See synonyms for: immunize / immunizer on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), im路mu路nized, im路mu路niz路ing.
to make immune.
to render harmless or ineffective; neutralize.
Law. to grant (a witness) immunity.
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Also especially British, im路mu路nise .

Origin of immunize

First recorded in 1890鈥95; immune + -ize

OTHER WORDS FROM immunize

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023

IMMUNIZE VS. VACCINATE VS. INOCULATE

What鈥檚 the difference between immunize, vaccinate, and inoculate?

In the context of medicine, immunize, inoculate, and vaccinate are often used in overlapping ways, and for good reason鈥攖hey all involve introducing a substance (especially a vaccine) into a person鈥檚 body with the goal of preventing them from getting a particular disease.

Vaccinate is the most specific of the three terms, because it always involves introducing a vaccine, which usually consists of a small amount of a killed, weakened, or otherwise modified version of a disease (such as a virus or bacterium). While inoculate has other meanings outside the context of medicine, in modern healthcare it鈥檚 typically used interchangeably with vaccinate (though it鈥檚 used less commonly).

Immunize is slightly different鈥攊t means to provide immunity from a specific disease. While the goal of vaccinating someone is often to immunize them, not all vaccines provide permanent immunity. Some vaccines provide what amounts to long-term immunity, while others only lead to temporary protection, after which the body 鈥渇orgets鈥 how to make certain antibodies. In these cases, a booster shot or dose is often required, consisting of a follow-up vaccination to boost or renew the protection gained from the earlier vaccination.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between immunize, vaccinate, and inoculate.

Quiz yourself on immunize vs. vaccinate vs. inoculate!

True or False?

Immunize, vaccinate, and inoculate can be correctly used in some overlapping ways.

How to use immunize in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for immunize

immunize

immunise

/ (藞瑟mj蕣藢na瑟z) /

verb
to make immune, esp by inoculation

Derived forms of immunize

immunization or immunisation, nounimmunizer or immuniser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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