im·​mune | \ i-ˈmyün How to pronounce immune (audio) \

Definition of immune

1a : 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
3a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from immune

immune noun

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.

Examples of immune in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

However, once the condition is identified, most patients have a big success rate in treatment, which usually involves immune therapies that get the immune system to stop making the antibodies that attack the brain., "What Condition Does Chloë Grace Moretz Have In Brain On Fire?," 22 June 2018 The vagus nerve, in turn, uses those signals to slow down the nervous system, lowering heart rate and blood pressure and curbing the activity of the stress hormone cortisol, an immune-system suppressant. Cari Romm, The Cut, "The Lasting Damage of Depriving a Child of Human Touch," 20 June 2018 The researchers propose that a weakening of the immune system may explain the many perils of L.O.Y. When white blood cells that serve as immune sentries lose their Y chromosome, Dr. Dumanski said, their surveillance skills falter. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "Secrets of the Y Chromosome," 11 June 2018 When that happens, your immune-system warriors cruise around your body even when there is no bacteria to fight off or injury to heal. Houston Chronicle, "YouDocs0514," 13 May 2018 Santino and Giovanni were born in October with Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD), an immune disease in which the immune system does not work properly, meaning even a common cold could become life-threatening, their mother told The Washington Post. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, "‘I saved them because I’m a superhero!’: 4-year-old donates bone marrow to his baby brothers," 6 May 2018 The immune system makes antibodies that kill off the invader, then immune cells remain on guard, ready to attack if the virus reappears. Marie Mccullough,, "HPV is causing an oral cancer epidemic in men by outwitting natural defenses," 12 Mar. 2018 The high-stress level can compromise the immune system by knocking down the number of immune cells in circulation. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, "How adding a little bit of exercise to your routine can help you prevent the common cold," 25 Jan. 2018 However, our hair isn’t immune to sun damage either. Jaime Osnato, SELF, "How I Keep My Temporary Hair Color Fresh to Death," 4 Apr. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of immune

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for immune

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about immune

Statistics for immune

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for immune

The first known use of immune was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for immune



English Language Learners Definition of immune

: 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


im·​mune | \ i-ˈmyün How to pronounce immune (audio) \

Kids Definition of immune

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.


im·​mune | \ im-ˈyün How to pronounce immune (audio) \

Medical Definition of immune

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not susceptible or responsive especially : having a high degree of resistance to a disease immune to diphtheria
2a : 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



Medical Definition of immune (Entry 2 of 2)

: an immune individual

Keep scrolling for more


im·​mune | \ i-ˈmyün How to pronounce immune (audio) \

Legal Definition of immune

: having immunity : exempt

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on immune

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with immune

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for immune

Spanish Central: Translation of immune

Nglish: Translation of immune for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of immune for Arabic Speakers

Comments on immune

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


a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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