• synonyms


[im-yuh-nahyz, ih-myoo-nahyz]
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verb (used with object), im·mu·nized, im·mu·niz·ing.
  1. to make immune.
  2. to render harmless or ineffective; neutralize.
  3. Law. to grant (a witness) immunity.
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Also especially British, im·mu·nise.

Origin of immunize

First recorded in 1890–95; immune + -ize
Related formsim·mu·niz·er, nounhy·per·im·mu·nize, verb (used with object), hy·per·im·mu·nized, hy·per·im·mu·niz·ing.non·im·mu·nized, adjectiveo·ver·im·mu·nize, verb (used with object), o·ver·im·mu·nized, o·ver·im·mu·niz·ing.un·im·mu·nized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for immunize

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His immunity to the sickness of his culture could not immunize the entire populace.

    The Great Gray Plague

    Raymond F. Jones

  • Or at least a way to immunize the ones that aren't infected yet.

    Star Surgeon

    Alan Nourse

  • "If it works with these cases, it will be simple to immunize the whole population," Tiger said.

    Star Surgeon

    Alan Nourse

  • Attempts to immunize small animals with Amanita toxin succeed only to a limited degree.

    Food Poisoning

    Edwin Oakes Jordan

  • The only proof that we can immunize against hay fever is to immunize against hay fever.

    The Treatment of Hay Fever

    George Frederick Laidlaw

British Dictionary definitions for immunize



  1. to make immune, esp by inoculation
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Derived Formsimmunization or immunisation, nounimmunizer or immuniser, noun
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 immunize


1889, from immune + -ize. Related: Immunized; immunizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

immunize in Medicine


  1. To render immune.
  2. To produce immunity in, as by inoculation.
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Related formsim′mu•ni•zation (-nĭ-zāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

immunize in Science


  1. The process of inducing immunity to an infectious organism or agent in an individual or animal through vaccination.
  2. A vaccination that induces immunity. A recommended schedule of immunizations for infants and young children includes vaccines against diphtheria, polio, tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella.
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Related formsimmunize verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.