Definition of immunity in English:


Line breaks: im¦mun|ity
Pronunciation: /ɪˈmjuːnɪti

noun (plural immunities)

  • 1 [mass noun] The ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells: immunity to typhoid seems to have increased spontaneously
    More example sentences
    • Women who develop immunity to the infection before pregnancy are not in danger of transmitting it to their babies.
    • Experiencing tetanus does not itself produce immunity to a second infection.
    • They also may have lower immunity to infection than older family members, plus increased viral shedding and longer duration of illness.
    resistance to, resilience to, non-susceptibility to, lack of susceptibility to, protection from, ability to fight off, ability to withstand, ability to counteract, defences against; immunization against, inoculation against
  • 2Protection or exemption from something, especially an obligation or penalty: the rebels were given immunity from prosecution
    More example sentences
    • Even in situations where an undertaking does not qualify for a total immunity from a fine penalties may be reduced.
    • It could be an immunity from a government action - for instance, my right to free speech bars the government from punishing me for speaking.
    • It seems to me that the stauncher first world proponents of globalisation feel a personal immunity from its vicissitudes.
    exemption, exception, freedom, release, impunity, dispensation, exoneration; non-liability for
    informal a let-off
    rare derogation
    indemnity, privilege, prerogative, special treatment, right, liberty, licence, permission; asylum; legal exemption, impunity, protection, freedom; French carte blanche
    Law , • historical droit
  • 2.1 Law Officially granted exemption from legal proceedings or liability.
    More example sentences
    • There is no issue between the parties with respect to the applicable legal principles relating to the immunity granted an expert witness in legal proceedings.
    • Either a party to a tribunal or legal proceedings is granted immunity or he is not.
    • Today, he and his accomplices are beginning to lose the legal immunity they granted themselves.
  • 2.2Lack of susceptibility, especially to something unwelcome or harmful: products must have an adequate level of immunity to interference
    More example sentences
    • Natural combativeness, an innate immunity to being cowed by the biggest names or the biggest occasions in football, is obviously a vital part of the equipment he carries on to the field.
    • But they also promise a partial immunity to the passage of time.
    • It appeared, however, as if she herself had acquired a unique immunity to invective and insult so long as she could lay her hands on something to stitch.


late Middle English: in the sense 'exemption (from a liability'): from Latin immunitas, from immunis (see immune).

More definitions of immunity

Definition of immunity in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody