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[ih-myoo-ni-tee] /ɪˈmyu nɪ ti/
noun, plural immunities.
the state of being immune from or insusceptible to a particular disease or the like.
the condition that permits either natural or acquired resistance to disease.
the ability of a cell to react immunologically in the presence of an antigen.
exemption from any natural or usual liability.
exemption from obligation, service, duty, or liability to taxation, jurisdiction, etc.:
The ambassador claimed diplomatic immunity when they arrested him for reckless driving.
Law. exemption from criminal prosecution or legal liability or punishment on certain conditions.
special privilege.
  1. the exemption of ecclesiastical persons and things from secular or civil liabilities, duties, and burdens.
  2. a particular exemption of this kind.
Origin of immunity
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.
4. See exemption. 5. franchise, license, liberty, prerogative.
1. susceptibility. 4, 5. liability. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for immunity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In a few other cases the immunity mentions penal causes, witerden, and no express exception is made of the ngild.

    Domesday Book and Beyond Frederic William Maitland
  • One must, it seems, be young to enjoy this nineteenth-century immunity.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • In experiments carried out on animals this immunity to bee poison has been also induced by repeated application of the irritant.

    Bacteria in Daily Life Mrs. Percy Frankland
  • After the Austrian war, an act of “immunity” was passed, in his behalf.

    Blood and Iron John Hubert Greusel
  • I accept the evidence as to the practice and as to the immunity from casualties which is said to have accompanied it.

    Loss of the Steamship 'Titanic' British Government
British Dictionary definitions for immunity


noun (pl) -ties
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
freedom from obligation or duty, esp exemption from tax, duty, legal liability, etc
any special privilege granting immunity
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

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)

  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
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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