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

n (medicine) the condition in which an organism can resist disease

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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
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condition, status
a state at a particular time

n the state of not being susceptible

susceptibility, susceptibleness
the state of being susceptible; easily affected
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exemption, freedom
immunity from an obligation or duty
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
legal exemption from liability for damages
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
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condition, status
a state at a particular time

n the quality of being unaffected by something

immunity to criticism”
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the property of being invulnerable; the property of being incapable of being hurt (physically or emotionally)

n an act exempting someone

“he was granted immunity from prosecution”
exemption, granting immunity
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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
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discharge, release, waiver
a formal written statement of relinquishment

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