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[im-pyoo-ni-tee] /ɪmˈpyu nɪ ti/
exemption from punishment.
immunity from detrimental effects, as of an action.
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 confused
immunity, impunity.
See exemption. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for impunity
  • Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity.
  • The increasingly blatant nature of the nonsense uttered with impunity in public discourse is chilling.
  • Yet with impunity and hubris this industry continues to seek the expansion of nuclear technology and energy production.
  • Once again the anti nukes have made the news using outright lies with impunity.
  • Of course, that rewards the procrastinators and suggests to them that they can continue to procrastinate with impunity.
  • Another contributor: local leaders who have created a culture of impunity.
  • But the belief is that this army of occupation can shoot anyone it wants to, anytime, with impunity.
  • In the past she had been able to consume whatever she wanted with impunity.
  • The wave that bounces off walls with impunity and refuses to fade is known as a soliton.
  • Other matter can then move through it with impunity, without colliding at all.
British Dictionary definitions for impunity


noun (pl) -ties
exemption or immunity from punishment or recrimination
exemption or immunity from unpleasant consequences: a successful career marked by impunity from early mistakes
with impunity
  1. with no unpleasant consequences
  2. with no care or heed for such consequences
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
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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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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