autoimmune

adjective
au·​to·​im·​mune | \ -im-ˈyün \

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 \ -​ˈyü-​nə-​tē \ noun
autoimmunization \ -​ˌim-​yə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən also  -​im-​ˌyü-​ \ noun

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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

And every part of the body has advantages and disadvantages: The immune system is crucial but can be too reactive, leading to autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Good Reasons for Bad Feelings’ Review: Suffering’s Silver Lining," 13 Feb. 2019 Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction where the body destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, a hormone needed to allow glucose (sugar) to enter your cells to produce energy, the Mayo Clinic explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "The Diabetes Symptom That Finally Helped Nick Jonas Get a Diagnosis," 19 Nov. 2018 Graves’ disease is an autoimmune thyroid disease, meaning the antibodies of the immune systems affect the function of the thyroid, a gland located in your neck. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Wendy Williams to Spend a "Significant Time" Hospitalized Due to Graves' Disease," 18 Jan. 2019 But unlike a viral infection or an autoimmune condition, a behavioral disorder is particularly susceptible to the varied social contexts in which the behavior takes place. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Why Is There a ‘Gaming Disorder’ But No ‘Smartphone Disorder?’," 28 June 2018 Tension headaches can be caused by everything from dehydration and workplace stress to undiagnosed diabetes or an autoimmune disease. Amy Marturana, SELF, "What Your Headaches Can Tell You About Your Health," 29 Dec. 2018 For example, silica, which makes up around 60 percent of windblown desert dust, is known to cause chronic lung inflammation, lung cancer and autoimmune diseases. Smithsonian, "How Climate Changed-Fueled “Mega Droughts” Could Harm Human Health," 12 June 2018 There are obvious cases, such as cancer and autoimmune disorders. Gabriel Winant, The New Republic, "Barbara Ehrenreich’s radical critique of wellness and self-improvement," 23 May 2018 Related Doctors are interested in also trying CBD to treat autism, anxiety, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. NBC News, "FDA committee recommends first CBD oil product," 19 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

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The first known use of autoimmune was in 1952

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More Definitions for autoimmune

autoimmune

adjective
au·​to·​im·​mune | \ -im-ˈyün \

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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