im·​mu·​nize | \ ˈi-myə-ˌnīz How to pronounce immunize (audio) \
immunized; immunizing; immunizes

Definition of immunize

transitive verb

: to make (someone or something) immune to something : to provide with protection against or immunity from something … the investigation has been slowed by the refusal of seven former and current Hughes officials to cooperate unless immunized from prosecution.— Andy Pasztor and Rick Wartzman Budding novelists immunize themselves against rejection by recalling rebuffs endured by even the most successful novelists …— Edwin McDowell specifically : to make (a living organism) immune or resistant to a disease or pathogenic agent especially by inoculation : to create immunity in (as with a vaccine) Measles can be almost completely controlled when adequate numbers of people within a population are immunized. Scientific American Medicine immunizing as many citizens as possible before an outbreak makes sense … — Shannon Brownlee

Examples of immunize in a Sentence

Many people had to be immunized after being exposed to the disease.
Recent Examples on the Web Still, the medical centers have announced plans to immunize the rest of their employees beginning Monday. New York Times, "At Elite Medical Centers, Even Workers Who Don’t Qualify Are Vaccinated," 10 Jan. 2021 Therefore, our assumption has been that there is a plan in place to immunize. CBS News, "Transcript: Moncef Slaoui on "Face the Nation," January 3, 2021," 3 Jan. 2021 The goal of this thought experiment is to highlight the immense power of vaccines and the impetus to immunize. Zach Nayer, STAT, "On the road to herd immunity, vaccination speeds the journey," 17 Dec. 2020 Luke Hvass, a clinical pharmacy specialist, is one of the staff members who will immunize his colleagues. Angie Leventis Lourgos,, "Local hospitals ready to give first COVID-19 vaccines to employees as soon as next week," 11 Dec. 2020 The trend complicates an already uphill challenge to immunize the state, which is seeing another wave of cases and deaths. Aric Chokey,, "As COVID-19 vaccine nears, data on religious exemptions show neighborhoods where efforts could meet resistance," 11 Dec. 2020 Trump administration officials told reporters in early December that there will be enough vaccines to immunize 30 million more people in January, followed by another 50 million people immunized by the end of February. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Federal government to fall short of planned 20M vaccinations before 2021," 29 Dec. 2020 Initially, at least, most of India’s production will be reserved for domestic use, with the government pledging to immunize as many as 300 million people by next September. Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times, "Rich countries are scooping up COVID-19 vaccines. What about the rest of the world?," 22 Dec. 2020 With both vaccines, which are given in two doses, federal officials expect to have enough this month to immunize about 20 million people, mostly health-care workers and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Thomas M. Burton And Peter Loftus, WSJ, "Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine Gets Backing From FDA Advisory Panel," 17 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'immunize.' 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 immunize

1889, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for immunize

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The first known use of immunize was in 1889

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Immunize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for immunize


How to pronounce immunize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of immunize

: to give (someone) a vaccine to prevent infection by a disease


im·​mu·​nize | \ ˈi-myə-ˌnīz How to pronounce immunize (audio) \
immunized; immunizing

Kids Definition of immunize

: to make immune especially by vaccination
variants: also British immunise \ ˈim-​yə-​ˌnīz How to pronounce immunize (audio) \
immunized also British immunised; immunizing also British immunising

Medical Definition of immunize

: to make immune

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im·​mu·​nize | \ ˈi-myə-ˌnīz How to pronounce immunize (audio) \
immunized; immunizing

Legal Definition of immunize

: to grant immunity to the ultimately ill-fated effort to immunize state judges from the burdens of the federal income tax— J. K. Owens

Other Words from immunize

immunization \ ˌi-​myə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce immunize (audio) \ noun

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