au·​to·​im·​mune | \ ˌȯ-tō-im-ˈyün How to pronounce autoimmune (audio) \

Definition of autoimmune

: of, relating to, or caused by autoantibodies or T cells that attack molecules, cells, or tissues of the organism producing them autoimmune diseases

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Other Words from autoimmune

autoimmunity \ ˌȯ-​tō-​im-​ˈyü-​nə-​tē How to pronounce autoimmunity (audio) \ noun
autoimmunization \ ˌȯ-​tō-​ˌim-​yə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce autoimmunization (audio) also  -​im-​ˌyü-​ \ noun

Did You Know?

Any healthy body produces a variety of antibodies, proteins in the blood whose job is to protect the body from unwanted bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. The cells and organs that deal with such infections make up the immune system. In some people and animals, for various reasons, the antibodies become overactive and turn on the body's healthy tissues as well; the result is an autoimmune disease—an immune response directed against one's own self. More than eighty autoimmune diseases have been identified, the best-known being type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Examples of autoimmune in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Last year, Selma Blair shared about her hair loss as a side effect of chemotherapy, and in 2018, Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about her struggle with alopecia areta, an autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss. Erika W. Smith,, "Ricki Lake Opens Up About Hair Loss — And Debuts A New Buzz," 3 Jan. 2020 There are other serious conditions that can contribute to hair loss, including autoimmune disorders and nutritional deficiencies. Dina Cheney, SELF, "8 Ways to Make Thinning Hair Shiny and Full Again," 13 Dec. 2019 As a result, investors’ cash rotates toward other areas like CNS and autoimmune disorders. 3. Bryan Roberts, Fortune, "Our Annual Reflection on the Future: 10 Health Care Predictions for 2020," 6 Dec. 2019 There’s also the fact that many thyroid conditions are autoimmune disorders. Hallie Levine,, "What Every Woman Should Know About Her Thyroid Gland," 5 Dec. 2019 In other patients, it can be triggered by certain conditions such as the Epstein-Barr virus and other infections, medications that suppress the immune system, autoimmune diseases, a weak immune system and cancer. NBC News, "What is HLH? ESPN reporter Edward Aschoff's diagnosis explained," 27 Dec. 2019 About 18% of the kids developed autoimmune responses related to celiac disease and 7% developed full-blown celiac disease, with the onset of both conditions peaking at 2 to 3 years of age, researchers found. Dennis Thompson,, "Lots of gluten during toddler years might raise odds for celiac disease," 11 Sep. 2019 Beta cells are destroyed in type 1 diabetes by an autoimmune response. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How old are your organs? Salk, UCSD mouse study finds human clues," 6 June 2019 Celery juice became a sensation recently, with proponents asserting that drinking it on an empty stomach each morning improves or cures early anything that ails you—from leaky gut to autoimmune conditions and even mental health issues. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, "Health Benefits of Celery," 12 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autoimmune.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of autoimmune

1952, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for autoimmune

Time Traveler

The first known use of autoimmune was in 1952

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Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Autoimmune.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for autoimmune


au·​to·​im·​mune | \ -im-ˈyün How to pronounce autoimmune (audio) \

Medical Definition of autoimmune

: of, relating to, or caused by antibodies or T cells that attack molecules, cells, or tissues of the organism producing them autoimmune diseases

More from Merriam-Webster on autoimmune

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with autoimmune

Britannica English: Translation of autoimmune for Arabic Speakers

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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