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From Middle English immunite, from Old French immunité, from Latin immunitas, in the legal sense; for the medical use see immunization.


  • IPA(key): /ɪˈmjuːnəti/
    • (file)


immunity (countable and uncountable, plural immunities)

  1. (uncountable) The state of being insusceptible to something; notably:
    1. (medicine) Protective resistance against disease.
      Some people have better immunity to diseases than others.
    2. (law) An exemption from specified duties, such as payments or services.
      Feudal privileges often included tax and other immunities.
    3. (law) An exemption from prosecution.
      The prosecutor offered the lieutenant immunity for all the crimes he would testify having known to be planned by the elusive drug baron.
    4. (religion) An exemption from penance.
      • 1842, [anonymous collaborator of Letitia Elizabeth Landon], chapter XXIX, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 81:
        Nevertheless, his reason rebelled, and his sense of religion by no means allowed the justice of refusing the amiable, handsome, and wealthy Englishman, whom his sweet child preferred, and who was perfectly willing that the signora should enjoy all the liberty required by her conscience and her church, together with such sums as should, from time to time, purchase the prayers of the faithful, and all other immunities, so far as his fortune furnished the means.
    5. (in games and competitions) An exemption given to a player from losing or being withdrawn from play.
      After winning the last round the player was granted immunity which allowed him to stay in the game even after receiving the fewest points.
  2. (countable) A resistance to a specific thing.
    Superbugs are bacteria that develop an immunity to antibiotics.


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Derived terms[edit]


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