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

His wife, Diane McGregor, said the cause was complications of the autoimmune disorder myasthenia gravis. Dennis Overbye,, "Bradford Smith, 86, dies; showed postcards from outer space," 13 July 2018 Kimberly DelTorchio of Satellite Beach decided to try Whole30 after her sister saw an improvement of symptoms associated with an autoimmune disorder. Katie Parsons,, "Whole30 diet is all the rage: What you need to know," 13 July 2018 His wife, Diane McGregor, said the cause was complications of the autoimmune disorder myasthenia gravis. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Bradford Smith, Who Showed Postcards From Outer Space, Dies at 86," 11 July 2018 Any personal history of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, blood clots, autoimmune disorders, cancer or advanced age., "Medical mystery: An unexpected - and ironic - cause of chest pain," 24 June 2018 More than two decades after her pro debut and seven years after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that causes pain and fatigue, Williams is still among the game’s elite. Sean Gregory, Time, "Venus Williams Is Still in the Game—On and Off the Court," 21 June 2018 Trouble is, over time, unresolved inflammation can wreak havoc on your body, and even contribute to chronic diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, asthma or diabetes. Maria Conley, Detroit Free Press, "Inflammation and your diet: What’s the connection?," 4 June 2018 It has been invoked as an explanation for rising rates in the rich world of autoimmune disorders such as type-1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and allergies. The Economist, "Germ-free children may be more prone to leukaemia," 24 May 2018 Some studies suggest visiting farms or living with pets can protect against some autoimmune disorders. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Your Bed Is Dirtier Than a Chimp’s," 18 May 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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16 Sep 2018

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The first known use of autoimmune was in 1952

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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

See words that rhyme with autoimmune

Britannica English: Translation of autoimmune for Arabic Speakers

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