Definition of immune
- some criminal leaders are immune from arrest
- immune to all pleas
- immune to diphtheria
- an immune serum
- immune agglutinins
- immune globulins
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.
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.
: 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
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