Definition of impunity
: exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss laws were flouted with impunity
impunity was our Word of the Day on 10/20/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of impunity in a Sentence
she mistakenly believed that she could insult people with impunity
Recent Examples of impunity from the Web
Should the alt-right be allowed to blockade Deray Mckesson speeches with impunity?
People seem to believe that in this narcissistic, social media age, accusations can be made with impunity.
There is nothing unusual about Philippine police murdering with impunity.
Were the law otherwise, as the State contends, the State could criminalize, for example, creating music videos, or videos critical of the government, or any video at all, for that matter, with impunity.
President Trump has spent his first months in the White House channeling public funds into his personal properties — and putting hilariously unqualified friends and family members into top government positions — with impunity.
There is nothing surprising in the fact that our missiles worked, or that our Hornet could engage and destroy the Syrian Air Force jet with near impunity at the individual level.
The Kentucky guard attacks the basket with muscular impunity and with all of the grace and finesse of a bayonet charge.
Whoever can operate their warplanes with impunity enjoys critical advantages, including providing close air support for ground troops, having secure supply lines, and getting real time recon on enemy troops and aircraft.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impunity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Impunity (like the words pain, penal, and punish) traces to the Latin noun poena, meaning "punishment." The Latin word, in turn, came from Greek poinē, meaning "payment" or "penalty." People acting with impunity have prompted use of the word since the 1500s, as in this 1660 example by Englishman Roger Coke: "This unlimited power of doing anything with impunity, will only beget a confidence in kings of doing what they list [desire]." While royals may act with impunity more easily than others, the word impunity can be applied to the lowliest of beings as well as the loftiest: "Certain beetles have learned to detoxify [willow] leaves in their digestive tract so they can eat them with impunity" (Smithsonian, September 1986).
IMPUNITY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of impunity for English Language Learners
: freedom from punishment, harm, or loss
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