impunity

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French impunité, from Latin impunitas, from impunis (without punishment).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

impunity (countable and uncountable, plural impunities)

  1. (countable, law) Exemption from punishment.
  2. (uncountable) Freedom from punishment or retribution; security from any reprisal or injurious consequences of an action, behaviour etc.
    • 1846, Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado:
      I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser.
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 495:
      The remoteness of the prison made the authorities feel they could ignore us with impunity.
    • 2021 March 10, Greg Morse, “Telling the railway's story on film”, in RAIL, number 926, pages 44-45:
      [...] and the rebuilding of Birmingham New Street with its Taurus Bar ("where one for the road - the railroad - can be taken with impunity").

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