im·​mune | \i-ˈmyün \

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

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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

Quick-service chains aren’t immune to those pressures. Becky Yerak, WSJ, "Growth in Quick-Service Restaurants Outpacing Sit-Down Eateries, USDA Says," 13 Nov. 2018 Even flight attendants aren’t immune to this stress — as was the case in 2017 when a man who refused to vacate his seat on a United Airlines flight was violently dragged down the plane aisle, bloodying his face. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Why there are so many viral confrontations on airplanes," 2 Nov. 2018 Why, even Apple isn’t immune to the notch self-loathing — as Cult of Mac notes, this year’s iPhone XS press images are cleverly shot to completely obscure the notch behind a solid black space wallpaper. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Amazon’s Echo event seems to have lost an iPhone X notch," 20 Sep. 2018 Even Uruguay — Argentina’s neighbor and fierce rival — has not been immune: Daniel Passarella, a World Cup-winning captain of Argentina, has coached the national team across the Río de la Plata. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Made in Argentina, and Now Coaching Everywhere at the World Cup," 25 June 2018 And while the most recent cases involved Indian Prairie District 204, Naperville District 203 hasn’t been immune. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "See something, say something a rule for parents, too, when it comes to school threats, experts say," 15 May 2018 For those reasons, Alford said the defendants are immune. Heather Nolan,, "Orleans DA's office lawyers argue fake subpoena lawsuit should be dismissed," 9 May 2018 Media: Cooking Light Not even vending machines are immune. The notion has long been that facing the hard truth could nudge customers toward better food choices. Jenny Deam, Houston Chronicle, "No escape: A time of calorie reckoning," 9 May 2018 The big reveal of this show — that Rasmus is immune — is meant to resolve any unanswered questions. Rebecca Farley,, "What Exactly Happened To Beatrice In The Rain?," 8 May 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for immune

Last Updated

22 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for immune

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

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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 \

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 \

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

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im·​mune | \i-ˈmyün \

Legal Definition of immune 

: having immunity : exempt

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More from Merriam-Webster on immune

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with immune

Spanish Central: Translation of immune

Nglish: Translation of immune for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of immune for Arabic Speakers

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