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!
Examples of impunity in a Sentence
she mistakenly believed that she could insult people with impunity
Recent Examples of impunity from the Web
These critics say the Davao police looked the other way while the death squads operated with impunity, adding that in the 30 years that Mr. Duterte ruled Davao, no killer was ever successfully prosecuted.
Eduardo Martin, president of Unauto VTC association representing both private companies, said there had been more than 30 acts of aggression against their cars and accused taxi drivers of acting with impunity.
This is something that, quite honestly, could have good political side effects, which is taking down Korea’s largest chaebol, which has been used to a certain amount of impunity.
The practice of reconciliation sessions that has created a culture of impunity must end.
Authoritarian leaders used to be able to steal with impunity.
The prevailing climate of impunity has emboldened other governments to carry out atrocities in the pursuit of their objectives.
This is emblematic of the kind of impunity that reigns now at every level of the state, from the gravest crimes to the highest government offices.
That cheesesteak, impossibly juicy and swimming in a slurry of fat and cheese, piles with impunity into a split roll.
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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