immune system

noun Anatomy.
a diffuse, complex network of interacting cells, cell products, and cell-forming tissues that protects the body from pathogens and other foreign substances, destroys infected and malignant cells, and removes cellular debris: the system includes the thymus, spleen, lymph nodes and lymph tissue, stem cells, white blood cells, antibodies, and lymphokines.

Origin:
1960–65

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

immune system n.
The integrated body system of organs, tissues, cells, and cell products that differentiates self from nonself and neutralizes potentially pathogenic organisms or substances.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
immune system  
The body system in humans and other animals that protects the organism by distinguishing foreign tissue and neutralizing potentially pathogenic organisms or substances. The immune system includes organs such as the skin and mucous membranes, which provide an external barrier to infection, cells involved in the immune response, such as lymphocytes, and cell products such as lymphokines. See also autoimmune disease, immune response.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

immune system definition


The system in the body that works to ward off infection and disease. Central to this system are the white blood cells. Some white blood cells produce antibodies in response to specific antigens that may invade the body; others function as scavengers to fight infection by destroying bacteria and removing dead cells.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Examines the relationship among the immune system, the brain, and prenatal and
  later development.
The immune system protects the body from potentially harmful substances by
  recognizing and responding to antigens.
Transplant rejection is a process in which a transplant recipient's immune
  system attacks the transplanted organ or tissue.
Patients who are on corticosteroids or other medications that suppress the
  immune system are also prone to infection.
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