immunity

Immunity means exemption or resistance. If you're protected against something, you have immunity to it. Your new silver clothes just might grant you immunity from getting thrown in jail by the fashion police.

In the late 14th century, the noun immunity, which means “exempt from service or obligation,” developed from the Latin immunitatem, which has nearly identical meaning. Break that word down even further, and you get immunis, meaning “exempt, free,” from in "not" and munis, meaning “performing services.” In a medical sense, immunity is “protection from disease.” Your annual flu shot tries to give you immunity from, or make you insusceptible to, the illness.

Definitions of immunity
  1. noun
    (medicine) the condition in which an organism can resist disease
    synonyms: resistance
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    types:
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    immunogenicity
    the property of eliciting an immune response
    acquired immunity
    immunity to a particular disease that is not innate but has been acquired during life; immunity can be acquired by the development of antibodies after an attack of an infectious disease or by a pregnant mother passing antibodies through the placenta to a fetus or by vaccination
    innate immunity, natural immunity
    immunity to disease that occurs as part of an individual's natural biologic makeup
    active immunity
    a form of acquired immunity in which the body produces its own antibodies against disease-causing antigens
    passive immunity
    an impermanent form of acquired immunity in which antibodies against a disease are acquired naturally (as through the placenta to an unborn child) or artificially (as by injection of antiserum)
    racial immunity
    natural immunity shared by all members of a particular race
    type of:
    condition, status
    a state at a particular time
  2. noun
    the state of not being susceptible
    synonyms: unsusceptibility
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    Antonyms:
    susceptibility, susceptibleness
    the state of being susceptible; easily affected
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    exemption, freedom
    immunity from an obligation or duty
    amnesty
    a period during which offenders are exempt from punishment
    diplomatic immunity
    exemption from taxation or normal processes of law that is offered to diplomatic personnel in a foreign country
    indemnity
    legal exemption from liability for damages
    impunity
    exemption from punishment or loss
    grandfather clause
    an exemption based on circumstances existing prior to the adoption of some policy; used to enfranchise illiterate whites in south after the American Civil War
    type of:
    condition, status
    a state at a particular time
  3. noun
    the quality of being unaffected by something
    immunity to criticism”
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    type of:
    invulnerability
    the property of being invulnerable; the property of being incapable of being hurt (physically or emotionally)
  4. noun
    an act exempting someone
    “he was granted immunity from prosecution”
    synonyms: exemption, granting immunity
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    fix
    an exemption granted after influence (e.g., money) is brought to bear
    official immunity
    personal immunity accorded to a public official from liability to anyone injured by actions that are the consequence of exerting official authority
    sovereign immunity
    an exemption that precludes bringing a suit against the sovereign government without the government's consent
    testimonial immunity, use immunity
    an exemption that displaces the privilege against self-incrimination; neither compelled testimony or any fruits of it can be used against the witness who therefore can no longer fear self-incrimination
    transactional immunity
    a broader form of use immunity that also protects the witness from any prosecution brought about relating to transactions to which they gave testimony
    type of:
    discharge, release, waiver
    a formal written statement of relinquishment
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