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

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

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 The two companies have been collaborating since June 2015 on development of therapies for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Incurable blood cancers targeted in Celgene's $9B deal to acquire Juno Therapeutics," 22 Jan. 2018 What started out as a personal interest for her, exploring supplements for an autoimmune disease, became the Moon Juice empire in only a few short years. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Adaptogenic dusts, oils, and pills have a veneer of science, but there’s not much evidence to back them up.," 2 Nov. 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

4 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for autoimmune

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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