Definition of impunity in English:



  • Exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.

    ‘the impunity enjoyed by military officers implicated in civilian killings’
    ‘protesters burned flags on the streets with impunity’
    • ‘Unusually, given the country's climate of almost complete impunity, three army officers were convicted of his murder.’
    • ‘Some ministers seem to be able to break the rules with impunity.’
    • ‘The impunity of police and denial of due process to victims is disturbing to rights activists.’
    • ‘If this war is allowed to pass with impunity, these will be the consequences.’
    • ‘Using that tort settlement, the big brands have hampered tiny cut-rate rivals and raised prices with near impunity.’
    • ‘When the rule of law is not respected, arbitrariness and impunity dominate the political scene.’
    • ‘It was in this atmosphere of total impunity that the 31 August attack took place.’
    • ‘That impunity led to the indiscriminate slaughter of peasants mentioned above.’
    • ‘He bought and sold thousands of pounds worth of stolen goods with seeming impunity for years, all the time informing on the criminals he dealt with to the police.’
    • ‘Certain thugs and vandals appear to have impunity from arrest.’
    • ‘Those involved in such attacks often enjoy complete impunity.’
    • ‘War crimes will only end when potential war criminals fear punishment; that will only happen when we end impunity.’
    • ‘Their impunity to prosecution and the lightness of the sentences they do get when they are caught is a joke and has bred an arrogance that makes my stomach churn.’
    • ‘People live in fear of armed groups who can strike with seeming impunity.’
    • ‘That was innocent and harmless but as time went on more and more conventions were broken with more and more impunity.’
    • ‘Are they going to speak out against impunity, especially for a former legislator who knows the importance of the rule of the law?’
    • ‘I hope he is not able to hide there in impunity the way other murder suspects have.’
    • ‘And in the void of our collective silence, the government continues to act with brutal impunity.’
    • ‘There was a feeling that living was much harder for those who obeyed the law and that impunity favoured criminals.’
    • ‘The impunity for such abuses has served to perpetuate the conflict and has led to serious human rights atrocities committed by both sides.’
    immunity, indemnity, exemption from punishment, freedom from punishment, exemption, non-liability, licence
    unpunished, with no ill consequences, with no ill effects, without being punished, without punishment
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Mid 16th century: from Latin impunitas, from impunis ‘unpunished’, from in- ‘not’ + poena ‘penalty’ or punire ‘punish’.