au·​to·​im·​mune | \ -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 \ -​ˈyü-​nə-​tē How to pronounce autoimmunity (audio) \ noun
autoimmunization \ -​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

Most had an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism called Graves' disease. Michael Nedelman, CNN, "Treatment for overactive thyroid linked to increased risk of dying from cancer," 1 July 2019 She eventually was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder alopecia areata, an incurable condition that is said to affect nearly 7 million people in the United States. San Diego Union-Tribune, "For San Diego-raised actor Jackie Nguyen, ‘Miss Saigon’ has been a major part of her art and life," 30 June 2019 In 2010, Phegley was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a rare blood autoimmune disorder. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "A’s catcher Josh Phegley could be an All-Star — but, first, who is he?," 25 June 2019 Other autoimmune disorders can be a factor as well. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "What Even Causes ITP?," 21 June 2019 Rodriguez also spoke about her battle with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and often includes depression as a symptom. Christina Oehler,, "‘Jane the Virgin’ Star Gina Rodriguez’s Opens Up About Her Mental Health and Battling Depression," 18 June 2019 Finnegan has a life-threatening autoimmune disorder, said Make-A-Wish spokeswoman Jessica Miller. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas,, "'Galacto' saves the day! Make-A-Wish superhero credited with protecting Chicago from evildoers," 9 June 2019 Some research has shown associations between endometriosis and autoimmune disorders; I was later diagnosed with lupus in 2018. Azmia Magane, Allure, "The Importance of Listening to Your Body — Even When Doctors Aren't Listening to You," 8 Apr. 2019 Wendy's brave speech comes just weeks after she was absent from her show for two months, reportedly battling many health issues including a shoulder injury and complications from Grave's disease (an autoimmune thyroid condition). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Tamron Hall and Others Rally Around Wendy Williams After She Announces She's Living in a Sober House," 19 Mar. 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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Last Updated

8 Jul 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


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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