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

Crohn’s disease, intended to represent immune disorders, had no variants in common with any other condition assessed, but vascular disease, stroke and MDD had commonalities. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Analysis of a Million-Plus Genomes Points to Blurring Lines Among Brain Disorders," 22 June 2018 There, she was reportedly diagnosed with the rare immune disorder that attacks nerve cells and causes muscle weakness or paralysis. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Arizona student paralyzed by rare disorder while on vacation in Spain," 13 June 2018 Those with a history of dermatitis, immune disorders (including autoimmune disease), even if in remission, should think twice before getting a tattoo and have a conversation with their healthcare provider. Judy Schaechter, M.d., miamiherald, "Body art to be even more popular in future as kids emulate their tattooed parents," 29 May 2018 People with immune disorders are among thoseespecially susceptible to mold infections, Arnold learned. Rebekah L. Sanders, azcentral, "Goodyear homeowners battle company over black-mold removal," 16 May 2018 AstraZeneca Plc is spinning off a company to develop drugs for immune disorders with as much as $250 million from a group of investors. John Lauerman,, "Astra Spins Off Immune Drug Startup With Investors' $250 Million," 28 Feb. 2018 Anyone can catch salmonella; however, older people, infants and those with immune disorders are most at risk. Kashmira Gander, Newsweek, "What Are the Symptoms of Salmonella? Chicken Salad Recalled After Multistate Outbreak of 'Deadly' Bacteria," 23 Feb. 2018 Graves' disease is an immune disorder that causes an overproduction of thyroid hormones, according to the Mayo Clinic website. Emma Baty, Cosmopolitan, "Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Graves' Disease, Announces Show Hiatus," 21 Feb. 2018 Iinuma's admission came as the result of a deposition of a case in which a California man claims Aetna denied him coverage for services required to his immune disorder. Chelsea Brasted,, "Aetna director admits to never examining patient medical records when approving, denying coverage: report," 14 Feb. 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

30 Aug 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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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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