immune

adjective im·mune \ i-ˈmyün \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of immune

1 a : free, exempt
  • immune from further taxation
b : marked by protection
  • some criminal leaders are immune from arrest
2 : not susceptible or responsive
  • immune to all pleas
; especially : having a high degree of resistance to a disease
  • immune to diphtheria
3 a : having or producing antibodies or lymphocytes capable of reacting with a specific antigen
  • an immune serum
b : produced by, involved in, or concerned with immunity or an immune response
  • immune agglutinins
  • immune globulins

immune

noun

Recent Examples of immune from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'immune.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Is it immune from or immune to?

Many people find themselves confused about which preposition, to or from, to use after the word immune. The traditional wisdom of usage commentators is that you become immune to a disease or a drug (such as HIV or antibiotics) but immune from an obligation (such as a taxation) or something that can happen to you (such as prosecution). But some say that the choice of preposition depends on the relationship between the affecting thing and the object being affected. According to Bryan Garner in Modern English Usage, for example, “What you’re immune from can’t touch you; what you’re immune to may touch you, but it has no effect.” So if you are immune from prosecution, the prosecutor cannot go after you; if you are immune to a suitor’s charms, the suitor can keep wooing you, but it would be to no avail.

Actual usage shows that there are no perfectly clear-cut rules. One can, for example, be immune to legal consequences or be immune from typhoid. The best advice, then, might be to follow your own ear.

Origin and Etymology of immune

Middle English, from Latin immunis, from in- + munia services, obligations; akin to Latin munus service — more at mean

Other Biochemistry Terms


IMMUNE Defined for English Language Learners

immune

Definition of immune for English Language Learners

  • : not capable of being affected by a disease

  • : not influenced or affected by something

  • : having special protection from something that is required for most people by law


IMMUNE Defined for Kids

immune

adjective im·mune \ i-ˈmyün \

Definition of immune for Students

1 : having a high degree of resistance to an illness or disease
2 : of, relating to, or involving the body's immune system
  • an immune response
3 : not influenced or affected by something
  • She is immune to criticism.
4 : not subject to something : exempt
  • They are immune from punishment.

Medical Dictionary

1

immune

adjective im·mune \ im-ˈyün \

medical Definition of immune

1 : not susceptible or responsive; especially : having a high degree of resistance to a disease
  • immune to diphtheria
2 a : having or producing antibodies or lymphocytes capable of reacting with a specific antigen
  • an immune serum
b : produced by, involved in, or concerned with immunity or an immune response
  • immune agglutinins

2

immune

noun

medical Definition of immune

: an immune individual

Law Dictionary

immune

adjective im·mune \ i-ˈmyün \

legal Definition of immune

: having immunity : exempt


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to oppose successfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens-painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!