[ in-dem-ni-tee ]
/ ɪnˈdɛm nɪ ti /
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noun, plural in·dem·ni·ties.
protection or security against damage or loss.
compensation for damage or loss sustained.
something paid by way of such compensation.
protection, as by insurance, from liabilities or penalties incurred by one's actions.
legal exemption from penalties attaching to unconstitutional or illegal actions, granted to public officers and other persons.
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Origin of indemnity

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English indem(p)nite, from Middle French indemnité, from Latin indemnitāt-, stem of indemnitās “security from financial loss”; see origin at in-3, damn, -i-, -ty2


an·ti-in·dem·ni·ty, adjectivepre·in·dem·ni·ty, noun, plural pre·in·dem·ni·ties.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does indemnity mean?

Indemnity is protection or security against damage or loss, or compensation for damages or money spent.

Insurance coverage provides indemnity to a person (or organization) by insuring them for certain potential situations, such as damages to their property from natural disasters or accidents. Indemnity is commonly used in legal contracts to secure protection against being sued or being held responsible for an accident. It’s often seen in the phrase indemnity clause.

The verb form of indemnity is indemnify, which means to provide such protection or security, typically in the form of insurance.

Outside the context of insurance, indemnity is sometimes used in a metaphorical way to mean protection, as in Your wealth does not provide indemnity from disease. 

Example: The whole purpose of car insurance is so that you have indemnity in case you get into an accident—buying insurance after an accident happens won’t cover you.

Where does indemnity come from?

The first records of indemnity come from the 1400s. It comes from the Latin indemni(s), meaning “without loss” or “uninjured.” This is formed from the prefix in-, which has a negating effect equivalent to un-, and demn-, from damnum, meaning “loss.”

Indemnity is most commonly used in the context of insurance and legal contracts. Insurance coverage gives the policyholder indemnity, meaning it protects against financial liability for damages or loss. Damages refers to those that happen to a piece of property like a car or house, or to injuries suffered by a person. Loss refers to things like the loss of income one might experience because they can’t work. If a person is indemnified for these things, they get compensated for (at least part of) the money lost or spent.

In corporate law, an indemnity agreement can indemnify a company’s executives against personally being sued if the company is sued.

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What are some other forms related to indemnity?

What are some words that share a root or word element with indemnity


What are some words that often get used in discussing indemnity?


How is indemnity used in real life?

Indemnity is most commonly used in a technical way in the context of insurance and legal contracts, but it is sometimes used in a metaphorical way.



Try using indemnity!

Is indemnity used correctly in the following sentence? 

This coverage provides indemnity for flooding.

How to use indemnity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for indemnity

/ (ɪnˈdɛmnɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties
compensation for loss or damage; reimbursement
protection or insurance against future loss or damage
legal exemption from penalties or liabilities incurred through one's acts or defaults
(in Canada) the salary paid to a member of Parliament or of a legislature
act of indemnity an act of Parliament granting exemption to public officers from technical penalties that they may have been compelled to incur

Word Origin for indemnity

C15: from Late Latin indemnitās, from indemnis uninjured, from Latin in- 1 + damnum damage
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