autoimmune

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

But here are the big changes: Removes some qualifying conditions, including autoimmune disorders, but adds others, such as receiving hospice care. German Lopez, Vox, "The midterm elections will give some voters a chance to legalize marijuana," 6 Nov. 2018 In fact, the activation of the CTLA-4 system has been targeted to treat autoimmune disorders. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Treatments that cause the immune system to attack cancer earn a Nobel," 1 Oct. 2018 Most rebates are generated from the medicines needed by the sickest patients, including those with cancer, autoimmune disorders and HIV. WSJ, "Drug Rebates Help Many, but Not Patients," 23 Sep. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of autoimmune

1952, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about autoimmune

Share autoimmune

Statistics for autoimmune

Last Updated

4 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for autoimmune

The first known use of autoimmune was in 1952

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for autoimmune

autoimmune

adjective
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

Comments on autoimmune

What made you want to look up autoimmune? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!