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immunity

[ih-myoo-ni-tee] /ɪˈmyu nɪ ti/
noun, plural immunities.
1.
the state of being immune from or insusceptible to a particular disease or the like.
2.
the condition that permits either natural or acquired resistance to disease.
3.
the ability of a cell to react immunologically in the presence of an antigen.
4.
exemption from any natural or usual liability.
5.
exemption from obligation, service, duty, or liability to taxation, jurisdiction, etc.:
The ambassador claimed diplomatic immunity when they arrested him for reckless driving.
6.
Law. exemption from criminal prosecution or legal liability or punishment on certain conditions.
7.
special privilege.
8.
Ecclesiastical.
  1. the exemption of ecclesiastical persons and things from secular or civil liabilities, duties, and burdens.
  2. a particular exemption of this kind.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English immunite < Latin immūnitās. See immune, -ity
Related forms
hyperimmunity, noun
nonimmunity, noun, plural nonimmunities.
self-immunity, noun, plural self-immunities.
Can be confused
immunity, impunity.
Synonyms
4. See exemption. 5. franchise, license, liberty, prerogative.
Antonyms
1. susceptibility. 4, 5. liability.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for immunity
  • He was a founder of immunochemistry, the study of the chemical reactions and phenomena of immunity.
  • They also argued that such immunity is intended to shield individual officials, and not governing boards, from liability.
  • And it is this that seems to explain their immunity.
  • Vaccines depend on them, and scientists are even employing the cells to stir up immunity against cancer.
  • So instead of inducing immunity they induce tolerance.
  • In the healthy, a vaccinia infection is largely harmless and merely confers immunity to smallpox.
  • Promises of immunity are easily given to dictators and other nasties.
  • Then your body will build immunity to that strain of flu.
  • The companies need retroactive immunity or they will face bankruptcy from the lawsuits, he added.
  • They should allow citizens to have a better way to know who are they voting for and stop using political immunity for corruption.
British Dictionary definitions for immunity

immunity

/ɪˈmjuːnɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the ability of an organism to resist disease, either through the activities of specialized blood cells or antibodies produced by them in response to natural exposure or inoculation (active immunity) or by the injection of antiserum or the transfer of antibodies from a mother to her baby via the placenta or breast milk (passive immunity) See also acquired immunity, natural immunity
2.
freedom from obligation or duty, esp exemption from tax, duty, legal liability, etc
3.
any special privilege granting immunity
4.
the exemption of ecclesiastical persons or property from various civil obligations or liabilities
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
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Word Origin and History for immunity
n.

late 14c., "exempt from service or obligation," from Old French immunité and directly from Latin immunitatem (nominative immunitas) "exemption from performing public service or charge," from immunis "exempt, free," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + munis "performing services" (cf. municipal), from PIE *moi-n-es-, suffixed form of root *mei- "to change" (see mutable). Medical sense "protection from disease" is 1879, from French or German.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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immunity in Medicine

immunity im·mu·ni·ty (ĭ-myōō'nĭ-tē)
n.

  1. The quality or condition of being immune.

  2. Inherited, acquired, or induced resistance to infection by a specific pathogen.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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immunity in Science
immunity
  (ĭ-my'nĭ-tē)   
The protection of the body from a disease caused by an infectious agent, such as a bacterium or virus. Immunity may be natural (that is, inherited) or acquired. See also acquired immunity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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immunity in Culture

immunity definition


The ability of the body to resist or fight off infection and disease.

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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