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  1. exemption from punishment.
  2. immunity from detrimental effects, as of an action.
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Origin of impunity

1525–35; < Latin impūnitās, equivalent to im- im-2 + pūnitās punishment (pūn- (stem of punīre to punish) + -itās -ity); see punitive
Can be confusedimmunity impunity


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for impunity


noun plural -ties
  1. exemption or immunity from punishment or recrimination
  2. exemption or immunity from unpleasant consequencesa successful career marked by impunity from early mistakes
  3. with impunity
    1. with no unpleasant consequences
    2. with no care or heed for such consequences
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin impūnitās freedom from punishment, from impūnis unpunished, from im- (not) + poena punishment
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 impunity


1530s, from Middle French impunité (14c.) and directly from Latin impunitatem (nominative impunitas) "freedom from punishment, omission of punishment," also "rashness, inconsideration," from impunis "unpunished, without punishment," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + poena "punishment" (see penal).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper