Definition of immunity in US English:

immunity

noun

  • 1The 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’
    • ‘A weak reaction suggests you have developed some immunity to the disease.’
    • ‘Women who develop immunity to the infection before pregnancy are not in danger of transmitting it to their babies.’
    • ‘It is illogical that a protective vaccine or a modulator of immunity to cancer would follow the same pathway for registration as a drug for treating constipation, sepsis, or dermatitis.’
    • ‘Most research has looked at the effect of these supplements on immunity and infectious disease, with conflicting results.’
    • ‘At birth, infants have immunity to certain diseases because antibodies have passed through the placenta from the mother to the unborn child.’
    • ‘However most pregnant women with parvovirus infection have normal, healthy babies and most pregnant women are not at risk for parvovirus infection because of immunity.’
    • ‘They also may have lower immunity to infection than older family members, plus increased viral shedding and longer duration of illness.’
    • ‘There are good reasons to believe a vaccine is possible, for the simple reason that we do observe that people can develop immunity to malaria.’
    • ‘Half the world has absolutely no immunity to the disease, and we travel much more easily from place to place now than we did then.’
    • ‘Experiencing tetanus does not itself produce immunity to a second infection.’
    • ‘Your doctor can test you for immunity to this viral disease before pregnancy and vaccinate you against it if you aren't immune.’
    • ‘Head lice are difficult to remove because of their size, reinfestation rate, life cycle, and their ability to develop immunity to insecticides.’
    • ‘Without vaccination, it can take days or weeks to acquire immunity to a particular disease.’
    • ‘Blood tests are also used to find out if you have immunity to certain diseases.’
    • ‘Once past the initial illness, most people develop lifelong immunity to future infection.’
    • ‘An immune response is brought about by two components of the immune system, namely the innate immunity and the acquired or specific immunity, acting in conjunction with each other and with other molecules.’
    • ‘Ministry officials point out that there is high natural immunity to the disease.’
    • ‘With the development of a protective immune response and serological evidence of immunity, infection becomes latent and usually remains so for the life of the patient.’
    • ‘Many vaccines require several separate doses before your child develops immunity to a disease.’
    • ‘Some researchers argue that non-type specific immunity deserves consideration today because the epidemiological circumstances may differ from those in the past.’
    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
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    1. 1.1 Protection or exemption from something, especially an obligation or penalty.
      ‘the rebels were given immunity from prosecution’
      • ‘Because of the absolute immunity from accountability that EU officials feel they possess, they decided to ignore these requests.’
      • ‘They also enjoy the same immunity from prosecution as Members of Parliament.’
      • ‘Even in situations where an undertaking does not qualify for a total immunity from a fine penalties may be reduced.’
      • ‘He said that criminal figures were flaunting their immunity from the law.’
      • ‘Subject to the suggested immunity from losses, the claim for 25% looks suspiciously like the presentation of a fourth partner.’
      • ‘Doctors now realise they don't have the immunity from being sued they once did and as a result are more cautious about what they actually do in terms of prescriptions and surgery.’
      • ‘Nor is there room for the immunities that have often protected heads of state and diplomats in domestic courts.’
      • ‘Politicians lost their immunity from unflattering exposure.’
      • ‘However, it also relies on the immunity from action in respect of claims brought against it by members of the armed forces conferred by the 1947 Act.’
      • ‘Their immunity from attack, in the event of failure to inspect, in other words, though great is not absolute.’
      • ‘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 often seems to me that Ukrainians have a distinctive immunity that protects them from the gaudy attractions of fashionable trends.’
      • ‘The right to silence is and is no more than an immunity from adverse inferences from failing to answer an accusation or question or evidence.’
      • ‘Observers say that the terror inspired by the veterans and their apparent immunity from the law has been seized on by disgruntled workers to settle scores with employers.’
      • ‘The man who was then the mayor of the capital is safe from prosecution, protected by his immunity.’
      • ‘It may set out a set of privileges and immunities that do not protect witnesses from breaking New Zealand's criminal law, for example, or from not having to pay their parking fines, or anything like that.’
      • ‘No immunity from infringement has been claimed on the basis of any earlier right or acquiescence in the present case.’
      • ‘It seems to me that the stauncher first world proponents of globalisation feel a personal immunity from its vicissitudes.’
      • ‘Their immunity from getting tricked of course was simply to put on a costume that would fool the ghosts away.’
      • ‘Because they are not directly engaged in hostilities against an adversary, they retain their civilian immunity from attack.’
      exemption, exception, freedom, release, impunity, dispensation, exoneration
      indemnity, privilege, prerogative, special treatment, right, liberty, licence, permission
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Law Officially granted exemption from legal proceedings.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No state could abridge those privileges or immunities, or deny any person due process or the equal protection of the law.’
      • ‘The reasons why such an immunity should be granted are considered below.’
      • ‘Today, he and his accomplices are beginning to lose the legal immunity they granted themselves.’
    3. 1.3immunity to Lack of susceptibility, especially to something unwelcome or harmful.
      ‘products must have an adequate level of immunity to interference’
      ‘exercises designed to build an immunity to fatigue’
      • ‘This in turn leads to identifying the ‘big assumption’ that is at the heart of the immunity to change.’
      • ‘Stainless steel or light alloy construction provides compact and lightweight components with a high immunity to shock and vibration.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Both she and her father had demonstrated an unaccountable immunity to the cold water the day before, but this morning she was only playing at the edge.’
      • ‘But they also promise a partial immunity to the passage of time.’
      • ‘So I don't really have an immunity to scary movies like so many of my peers do.’
      • ‘The performances indicate at least a partial immunity to the ageing process.’
      • ‘Catherine luckily had developed an immunity to them after eight years of friendship.’
      • ‘He wonders whether the media industry is breeding an immunity to violence, murder and destruction.’
      • ‘Perhaps I've been around him so long I've built up a natural immunity…’
      • ‘All I need is a 35-40 hour day and an immunity to sleep depravation and I'll perhaps be able to do it one day.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

Late Middle English: in the sense ‘exemption (from a liability’): from Latin immunitas, from immunis (see immune).

Pronunciation

immunity

/ɪˈmjunədi//iˈmyo͞onədē/